Second chance Leeds school saves its historic Leeds building earmarked to become luxury flats
Following a two year fundraising drive, MAP (Music and Arts Production) Charity, which is based at Hope Foundry on Mabgate, managed to raise more than £1m, thanks to a successful community led fundraising campaign, to buy its Grade II Listed building, which dates to 1831.
Now the future of its young students - who are not in mainstream education - is looking bright, with plans to expand their education service with a creative hub, focussing on creative skills.
Cash was raised through social investors with contributions from lots of individuals running marathons and other such sponsored events.
Tom Smith, MAP’s co-founder and project director, said: “Formally acquiring the building is truly humbling as it has only been possible thanks to extraordinary members of the public.
“Our vision for Hope Foundry will be transformative for the community and so we’re urging the public to dig deep and get behind our ongoing campaign to refurbish and make it a reality.”
MAP Charity supports those unable to access mainstream education and uses a curriculum of music and art to inspire them to reach their full potential – with both formal qualifications and development opportunities offered through partnerships with local creative businesses.
They can be out of mainstream school for a whole host of reasons including re-settlement, behavioural and those struggling with academia.
Previous landlord John Wright, who has sold the building to MAP at a discount, said: “For the last ten years MAP Charity has provided a vital service to the community and young people. As their landlord, I’m proud to have supported the charity’s growth by gifting them additional space in the building, as well as volunteering my time to nurture their services and vision.
“Their exciting plans to transform the historic building into a vibrant creative hub has inspired me to explore alternatives to turning the building into flats; instead, I am now onboard to help them realise their vision for the building and for Leeds.”
This will expand the core education provision (offering 25 places per day for 11-16 year olds to study at BTEC level and 10 yearly apprenticeship places for 16-20 year olds), and create new spaces for the community including rooftop gardens, gallery and live music spaces.
MAP Charity is urging all those who share its vision for creative education and the arts to get involved at www.mapcharity.org
Second chance student says MAP changed his life
Former student Aaron Goodison, 19, attended MAP Charity and says it has changed his life for the better.
Aaron said: “I’m not exaggerating when I say MAP Charity changed my life.
“At a young age I wasn't hanging out with the best crowd, but when I can down to MAP it gave me a focus.
“The normal academics in school just wasn't for me, but at MAP I could use my hands. The staff down here pushed me to try new things and build on my construction skills.
“It inspired my education, and from here I went to college where I learnt bricklaying and roofing. “I also got qualifications along the way too. I'm now training to be a plasterer and also do joinery and plumbing. I still want to get new skills under my belt and see what the future brings.
“I'll always give thanks to MAP charity for the amazing support I received down here. It set me on the right path. If I hadn’t come to MAP i didn't know where I'd be now.”