WOW Barn finds a new home at Kirkstall Valley Farm

The WOW Barn is moving to Kirkstall Valley Farm. Photo: Leeds 2023

The Women of the WORLD (WOW) Barn legacy continues as the pop-up is moving to a new home – Kirkstall Valley Farm.

Adele Rae, CEO at Kirkstall Valley Development Trust, explains why the WOW Barn – originally built by 300 women and non-binary people on Woodhouse Moor as part of Leeds 2023 – captured her imagination and why KVDT chose to take on the structure.

As one of LEEDS 2023’s Anchor Organisations, Kirkstall Valley Development Trust has taken a keen interest in our city’s exciting year of culture. Leeds has such a rich cultural heritage which is often overlooked, and this is a wonderful way to celebrate all that is fabulous about the city, its culture and its heritage.

The WOW Barn particularly captured our imagination because, as an organisation, our mission is to make Kirkstall a better place to live.

Part of that involves combatting the effects of inequality and the poverty it often causes so, to discover that a barn was being built in 24 hours by 300 women and non-binary people, was inspirational.

It also goes to show what can be achieved when people are given the opportunity, not to mention an eye-catching way to demonstrate the power of women and non-binary people.

So, needless to say, we’re absolutely thrilled to give The WOW Barn a new home at Kirkstall Valley Farm.

It’s definitely going to be a huge undertaking, but LEEDS 2023 and manufacturers Castle Ring Oak Frame have been fabulous in helping us to facilitate the move to its new location. I should also mention that Leeds Wood Recycling have generously agreed to the Barn ending up at the farm rather than them inherit the wood for recycling.

A girl hula hoops outside The WOW Barn

What will it be used for? I hear you ask. Well, a little more about us…

Kirkstall Valley Development Trust (KVDT) is a community based organisation committed to improving the lives of people in Kirkstall. We do that in a range of ways – Food is a golden thread that runs through everything we do, whether that is through food parcels, our community cafe, Healthy Holidays playschemes for children from families on low incomes, or actually growing food on our community farm.

We believe in empowering people and giving them opportunities they might not be able to afford otherwise. 

The WOW Barn

Kirkstall Valley Farm has been described as a ‘Big Back Garden for Kirkstall’ where there are so many people living in back to back houses who don’t have a garden.

The farm is an oasis of wellbeing, and the new addition of The WOW Barn will enable the community to access the site all year round. It will be used to facilitate educational opportunities, combat isolation and bring people together.

It’s such an incredible gift to the people of Kirkstall. We will ensure we continue the WOW ethos of challenging inequality and empowering those who are disadvantaged.

Furthermore, it’s fabulous to have been gifted one of the many legacies LEEDS 2023 will leave behind after this year of culture.

Kirkstall Valley Farm


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