<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today click here

The Old Fire Station in Gipton in Leeds opening party

PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 November 2017

Michelle Sykes,Rane Lin and James Gorton with fruit loaves made in the cookery class.

Michelle Sykes,Rane Lin and James Gorton with fruit loaves made in the cookery class.

Joan Russell Photography

A former fire station returns to service this time as a much welcomed community base

The Old Fire Station in Gipton in Leeds has opened its doors as a thriving community centre after a major, two-year refurbishment. The building, with many of its original features, is now home to five community organisations, meeting rooms for hire, a roof garden and community café. It was made possible by donations from the former Leeds entrepreneur, the late Jimi Heselden, and is managed by Leeds Community Foundation.

Guests at the opening included the local community, former Gipton fire fighters, and members of the Heselden family. They gathered in Jimi’s Community Room, overlooking the community garden, and were welcomed with speeches from trustee Jonathan Morgan of Morgans City Living, Leeds Community Foundation CEO, Sally-Anne Greenfield and Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East.

Sally-Anne Greenfield paid tribute to Mr Heselden. She said: ‘If Jimi were here today, I think he would be very proud, and justifiably so, of the incredible facility that has been provided through his generosity that will, quite literally, change the lives of many, many people, day on day, week on week, month on month for many years to come.

‘I truly hope that we have managed to fulfil his wishes – to do something special, to build something that is going to give people in East Leeds a more positive future, a job, a life, some hope. I am confident it will be an inspiring space for the tenants, to help them deliver their work; a welcoming hub for their beneficiaries, who will come here and feel the warm welcome that it brings; and a base that local people can use and that will be full of fun, and laughter and celebration.’

Guests were then offered tours of the building, with many of the fire fighters who had previously worked at the fire station adding historical facts along the way. Back in Jimi’s Community Room, lunch was served by The Feel Good Café. On walls was the work of photographer Lizzie Coombes.

Further details about The Old Fire Station, café menu and opening times, and the rooms for hire can be found at theoldfirestationgipton.org.uk

More from Out & About

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Christmas Festival in York gets bigger and bigger, says Tony Greenway

Read more
York Christmas
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Avnumber of vibrant bands, choirs and societies show that Barnsley is really on song

Read more
Monday, November 13, 2017

A fantastic end to 2017 is in store at the annual equestrian event in the centre of Liverpool.

Read more
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Not all of Yorkshire’s treasured buildings are hundreds of years old.

Read more
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Terry Fletcher leads a walk from Marsden which passes six reservoirs, all of which have a story to tell

Read more
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Autumn is time for an incredible – and challenging – journey, and we can all get a front-row seat this month, as Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Tom Marshall discovers.

Read more
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

English Heritage joins forces with broadcaster on extensive makeover

Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Leeds has submitted its first stage bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023. If successful, it could be a transformative moment for the city, reports Tony Greenway

Read more
Monday, October 30, 2017

Richard Darn enjoys a visit to Huddersfield

Read more
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Behind the scenes at Meadowhall

Read more

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Yorkshire's trusted business finder