Campaigners have launched a £200,000 crowdfunding appeal to help turn a Bramley church hall into a theatre and arts space.
Bramley Community Arts (BCA) is a non-for-profit Community Interest Company and was formed in order to buy St Margaret’s Church Hall, in Newlay Lane, with the objective of making it available to the local community as a theatre and arts centre.
The crowdfunder has only been running a few days and has already raised more than £5,000 in donations.
BCA registered the empty building as an asset of community value and have been in communication with the government Community Ownership Fund, but must raise additional match funding.
One of the campaigners, Dean Patrick, said: “I have been working alongside others to try to buy St Margaret’s Church Hall in Bramley for some time now to run the building as community theatre and arts centre for West Leeds.
This is the only community space in the local area with a reasonably sized stage, backstage rooms and sprung dance floor amongst other facilities. We need to act now in order to preserve this community building for another 65 years!”
Since sharing the appeal earlier this week, Mr Patrick has been inundated with messages from members of the community suggesting other ways they can be involved or how to generate the much-needed income.
The crowdfunder can be found here.
The building was originally designated an asset of community value by Leeds City Council back in 2019. An ‘asset of community value’ is property of importance to a local community which is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011.
History of the building
The current building was built following a fire which destroyed the old Church Institute building and stage in the early 1950’s.
St Margaret’s Church was planned and built as a dual purpose building with a stage and a sprung dance floor to continue the long tradition of producing shows and hosting ballroom dancing for the local community.