WORK is underway on a brand new, state of the art community centre in New Wortley with the support of students from Leeds Beckett University.

The building, which has received a grant of almost £687,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, is being developed as part of Leeds Beckett University’s Live Project Office (LPO), which is an initiative that gives architecture students the opportunity to work on live projects.

Adept Consulting Engineers are designing all civil and structural engineering works for the development, which is located next to the existing community centre on Tong Road. The current centre is used by more than 600 people every week and plans are now in place to transform it into a wellbeing centre.
Erol Erturan, Managing Director at Adept, says: “Working on this development with Leeds Beckett University’s LPO is hugely inspiring and there’s no doubt the students involved will gain a huge amount of experience from it. Once complete, the building will become a superb community centre that has the potential to set a benchmark for similar projects in the region, as well as creating a valuable facility for the people of New Wortley.”

Leeds Beckett University’s Architecture Lecturer, Simon Warren, says: “It’s very exciting to see work underway on the New Wortley Community Centre as the efforts of so many of our students come to fruition, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund. This new building will enable the centre to significantly expand the terrific work that it currently undertakes, as well as having a significant impact on the quality of life for lots of people in New Wortley.”

Fellow Architecture Lecturer, Craig Stott adds: “The construction phase of this project will provide a fantastic learning tool for our architecture students who will gain lots of valuable knowledge from such a socially conscious venture. They will also regularly visit the site and experience the consequences of constructing what we have designed. These visits will form part of their modules with direct learning and teaching from the live project which makes it a hugely innovative scheme.”

When the new building opens in April 2016, it will double the capacity of services provided by New Wortley Community Association, which currently include a job club, youth group, fitness classes, housing advice and multi-agency surgeries. The building will also host lunch clubs, residents’ association meetings and give several social enterprise businesses, including the centre’s café and shop, the opportunity to increase income.

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