Changing Lives Together - Ashfield Group

Ashfield Group are pleased to announce that we have been chosen as the preferred contractor to convert Hope Foundry in Leeds City Centre into a thriving place of education, creativity and enterprise on behalf of Music and Arts Production Leeds (MAP Charity).

The beautiful Grade II listed building in Mabgate, Leeds has a rich heritage dating back to 1812 where it has a longstanding history of making, creating and inventing as part of the proud industrial heritage of Leeds.

For the past 10 years it has been home to MAP Charity’s alternative education programme. MAPs driving plan is to create a single site with multiple uses that directly feeds back into the common goal of advancement of future generations, particularly those with less opportunities to purse creative paths. Through this support the buildings legacy will continue, Ashfield will be delivering a newly renovated building containing welfare facilities, kitchens, studios, co-working, event and gallery areas together with retail spaces and a new DDA compliant lift.

MAP Charity work with young people who can’t access the mainstream education system by offering BTEC qualifications in the Creative Media and Art & Design, alongside Maths and English, to 11–16-year-olds. Their education provision is positioned alongside the charity’s work with businesses and creative partners, from screen printing firms to musicians.  MAP Charity offers space and support, and in return they provide their students with teaching sessions, tangible examples and the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned in real working environments.

“MAP Charity are looking to provide a replicable model resolving the tension between regeneration and the support, retention and preservation of the existing strengths of an area and the community within it. This is an important project for our city, and ever more relevant in the light of the cultural aspirations of Leeds.”

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council

With support from the public, Leeds City Council and the European Regional Development Fund, MAP Charity has successfully raised circa £1.5m to fund the project. 

The project will transform Hope Foundry into a fit for purpose new facility, a space where everyone can access the creative arts. The project will include works across the first and second floors, bringing vacant and under-utilised space back into use and delivering a positive and collaborative environment, consisting of a mixture of workspaces with access to communal kitchens and breakout spaces for creatives and SME’s to rent at market rates. Accessibility requirements were also a key factor in the design, the new space has been designed to consider the diverse and unique needs of all those that will use the space, regardless of age or ability. What MAP Charity will receive is an environment designed to be inclusive, promote safety, and help everyone enjoy the building.

“Ashfield are very proud to have been awarded such a significant project as Hope Foundry. We have a skilled and dedicated team who understand the intricacies of working on listed buildings, which is one of the reasons why we were chosen for this project. Having both the experience of working on listed buildings and in Leeds City Centre, were crucial requirements for the client. Speaking for everybody that works for and with Ashfield, we feel honoured to be working with such a worthy charity and can’t wait to deliver this exciting project on their behalf.”

Joel Ramsden, Director, Ashfield Group

The tight 22-week programme will achieve a high BREEAM rating in accordance with the European Regional Investments Funds requirements

Martin Walsh Architectural (MWA) who designed the project will act as Principal Designer under the CDM Regulations 2015, with Ashfield Group in charge of delivery as the Principal Building Contractor.

“This is a significant project for the team at MWA, which draws upon our experience and expertise in conservation. It is about protecting assets, but in a way that also supports our client’s aims. As a charity, this will create an income by producing new workspaces that secure their long-term future and their service users.”

Matt Morgan, Architectural Technologist, Martin Walsh Architectural

Explore The MAP Charity’s vision here –