The Old Fire Station in Gipton in Leeds opening party
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 November 2017
Joan Russell Photography
A former fire station returns to service this time as a much welcomed community base
Gipton Fire Station
Jonathan Morgan of LCF.
Sally-Anne Greenfield Chief Executive of Leeds Community Foundation.
Sonja Woodcock of Leeds Food Partnership.
Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East.
Wayne Clarke, head chef at the Leeds Cookery School, takes freshly baked bread out of the oven
Wayne Clarke, head chef at the fire station's Leeds Cookery School
Ingredients for the day's cookery lesson
The new cookery school is equipped to help students
Finishing touches added to fruit loaves in the cookery school
Michelle Sykes,Rane Lin and James Gorton with fruit loaves made in the cookery class.
Sweet breakfast bread made at the cookery school and served to guests
Helen Wright,the manager of the Slate Cafe in the Fire Station tastes the results of the day's cook at the cookery school
Andrew Plews standsin teh entrance hall, bemeath the axe and helmet owned by his father Alan Plews who served as a fire officer between 1959 and 1987.
Bev Heselden, Julie Heselden (Jimi Heselden's widow),Sally Anne Greenfield and Jonathan Morgan of Leeds Community Foundation, Linda Gunby and Jackie Foster.
Fire buckts become signature lighting
Sally Anne Greenfield with Julie Heselden
Fire fighting equimen is incorporated into the newly furbished bulding
The Gipton Fire Station is now a welcoming community centre
Emma Tregidden, Space2
Derek Milne, West Yorkshire Fire Service
. Pip Goff, Leeds Community Foundation
Danny Dickinson, GIPSIL/ Elevate
Paul Kaiserman from Space2.
Roohi Collins, Leeds Community Foundation
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