In 2014, the West Yorkshire Fire Service commissioned a new fire station in Killingbeck and decommissioned their stations in Gipton and Stanks. Two locally-based community organsiations (GIPSIL and Zest Health for Life) approached Leeds Community Foundation (LCF) to see if it was possible to save the building for the community by converting it into a Community and Enterprise hub.
LCF managed a significant fund set up by the late Jimi Heselden, a local businessman who was born and brought up in East Leeds. Following discussions with Jimi's family, LCF was able to make a grant from Jimbo’s Fund to finance the purchase and renovation of the former fire staion. Jimi felt passionately about supporting his local community, so this is a very appropriate way of acknowledging his tremendous generosity.
Other third sector partners came on board as potential tenants, and contractors were appointed - Brewster Bye (architects), Aspect 4 (project managers) and Simpson Of York (construction company). The project began to take shape and the renovation was completed in August 2017.
The Old Fire Station will be a tremendous asset for East Leeds. Many of the original features have been retained - old pumps, the firemen's poles, some flooring and tiles - but the building has been transformed into a modern, bright hub of activity, with rooms to hire, office space and a community cafe, providing services and space for local people and organisations. The overall difference that the services being located all in one place and the community facilities themselves will be measured.
If you would like to find out more about the groups involved in the project, please follow the links above, or contact the Development Manager on 0113 213681 or firstname.lastname@example.org.