Celebrations As £690k Lottery Grant Approved For New Wortley Community Centre

Local News

The Lord and Lady Mayoress of Leeds joined Councillors, volunteers and partners at an event celebrating the planned redevelopment of New Wortley Community Centre.

Councillors Jim McKenna and Alison Lowe (Labour, Armley) were with nearly 100 people at the centre where it was officially announced that the New Wortley Community Association had been successful in securing a Big Lottery Fund grant totalling almost £690k.

The funding will allow New Wortley Community Centre to be transformed into a modern well equipped facility to expand the fantastic work it has carried out in the community for the past three decades.

The designs, put together by architecture student (now graduate) Vahagn Mkrtchyan from Leeds Beckett University will see the existing building redeveloped and an extension added, effectively doubling the size of the facility. Leeds Beckett Project Office (a branch of Leeds Beckett Architecture School) carried out a competition with their students to create a design for the new centre.

Councillors McKenna and Lowe announced the exciting news along with Councillor Maureen Ingham, Vice-Chair of the New Wortley Association, Bernard Bloom (Chair) and Lady Mayoress Janet Harper, former Armley Councillor and long supporter of the New Wortley Community Association.

This news comes after the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme awarded funding of £55,700 which got the project underway. Now with the further funding, New Wortley Community Association’s ambitions to redevelop the community centre will be realised.

Founded in 1982, the New Wortley Community Centre is independently owned and run by the Association for the people of New Wortley. The Centre is one of the most well used of its kind in the city and currently offers a wide range of services such as a weekly housing surgery, café and bar, fitness classes and laundry.

Councillor Jim McKenna (Labour, Armley) said:

“This is fantastic news and we must thank Bernard, Maureen and the volunteers for their tireless efforts to get the funding bid approved. Officials from the Big Lottery Fund were really impressed with the vision the Association has for the centre and with the fantastic designs Vahagn put together. Now funding has been approved I’m really looking forward to seeing work begin later this year.”

Councillor Maureen Ingham (Vice-Chair of the New Wortley Community Association) said:

“I must thank everyone for their determination and hard work to get us to this point, from the Armley Councillors for their decades of support, to Leeds Beckett for their fantastic designs, to board member Bill Grahame for writing our lottery bids and the army of volunteers who have helped our vision become a reality. We should all give ourselves a pat on the back that we will soon have a community centre we can be really proud of.”

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