Video: TV’s Anneka sees centre of activity in Leeds

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TV favourite Anneka Rice turned back the clock more than 20 years as she visited an East End Park site that will soon be home to a new centre for Leeds Mencap.

An old school building was converted into the charity’s current base on Londesboro Terrace during an episode of the popular presenter’s Challenge Anneka programme in 1992.

Anneka Rice at the site of the new Leeds Mencap centre.

Anneka Rice at the site of the new Leeds Mencap centre.

But with Leeds Mencap now needing more space than is available at Londesboro Terrace, work has begun on a new £2.5m centre a short distance away in Raincliffe Road.

And yesterday Anneka visited the building site to officially mark the start of the project and meet members of the construction team.

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She said: “It was thrilling to return to Leeds Mencap and see how the charity has grown since we were there with Challenge Anneka 23 years ago. I wish them all the luck in the world for the future.

“The programme was involved with over 60 projects, many of which are celebrating big birthdays this year.

“It is wonderful to see how the legacy of the programme continues.”

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Raincliffe Road centre will house Leeds Mencap’s specialist services for people with learning disabilities and their families.

The centre will also be home to a nursery and other facilities for the wider community, helping to make it the first of its kind in the country.

All but £500,000 of the cost of the scheme has been secured thanks to support from donors including Jimbo’s Fund, set up by the late Leeds philanthropist Jimi Heselden.

A Buy a Brick scheme has been launched to raise the remainder of the money, visit the www.leedsmencap.org.uk/spaceforme web page for further information.