Leeds Beckett University’s Project Office, a RIBA-chartered design and research collaboration between staff and students to produce ethical, social and resilient architecture, has designed the New Wortley Community Centre with the local community.
Offering drug rehabilitation, a charity shop, IT and skills classes, back-to-work volunteering opportunities, a community café, and health and wellbeing classes, the Centre plays a pivotal role for the most disadvantaged community in Leeds.
Following the opening of the in May 2016, the centre’s annual turnover rose from £80,000 to £623,000, due to the provision of new space and facilities. Prior to Project Office’s involvement in 2013, the facility was run by 2 members of paid staff and 8 volunteers. In January 2018 following the new community centre being built, NWCA employed 21 people plus 53 volunteers gaining back to work skills, all local to the area.
Students’ talent and energy is harnessed to address societal and environmental issues through architecture, characterised as ‘Students = A Force for Good’.