HEART - a brand new community space in Headingley
Headingley residents will be pleased to hear that not everything in the suburb is aimed at its large student population.
The new Headingley Enterprise & Arts Centre (HEART) will provide a range of services for the local community.
Its opening is the culmination of five years hard work by Headingley Development Trust (HDT).
HDT was set up in 2005, with the aim of "promoting and developing a sustainable local community in Headingley."
Since then, a series of initiatives have come to fruition - the Farmers Market, the Natural Food Store, the Neighbourhood Design Statement and Headingley Homes have all come out of this.
However, the project which got it all going was reclaiming the Headingley Primary School site on Bennett Road for the community. Now, after five years' hard work, debating, planning, lobbying and organising, Headingley Enterprise & Arts Centre (HEART), based in the old School, opens to the community on Saturday 8 January 2011.
Building work started in May 2010 to transform the building into a multi-functional facility. It's an eco-friendly development, partially-powered by solar panels after being awarded almost £16,000 by the Green Energy Trust.
HEART will host a café which will be Headingley's only off-road outside eating area. There will be sound-proof music rooms, meeting and conference facilities, as well as a community centre with spaces to book and use.
The old Primary School has been put to good use
Pulse - a co-working opportunity based on the upper floors - offers storage space, WiFi, direct dial telephone and a business mailbox address for any entrepreneurs trying to get their business off the ground.
"The building is looking beautiful, and we are optimistic about its impact on the community," says Lesley Jeffries, Chair of HEART. "The HEART Board is delighted with the support received from local residents and the business community."
"Many people have already expressed interest in booking space for variety of activities, including antenatal classes, music rehearsal, art and craft classes, yoga, Pilates, baby ballet, health and fitness, gaming and flower arranging. HEART is going to be buzzing with activity from the opening onwards, with a schedule of events planned throughout 2011. It will be a great place to meet, socialise, work and play!"
HEART's Open Day on Saturday 8 January 2011 will feature local bands, a lion dance, activities for children, a tea dance, history talks, as well as the unveiling of the Secret Art Sale, a collection of work from local artists and celebrities, such as Alan Bennett, Diana Rigg, Billy Bragg, Glen Baxter, Judy Cain and Helen Francis (MBE).