Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise chief executive (left), and Adrian Green, Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise manager (right), with Matthew Abbott, R.H. Fullwood & Co Ltd site manager, at the newly refurbished Leeds Media Centre

Building work has been successfully completed in a major redevelopment of Leeds Media Centre to create extra business space and new opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the city.

£1.8 million scheme is being delivered by Unity Enterprise – a not-for-profit subsidiary of housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise – in partnership with Leeds City Council.

It has been part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund including support for a professional adviser to mentor young businesses, particularly those in the creative, digital and media sectors.

The construction phase began last autumn with scaffolding erected around the perimeter of the building in Chapeltown in preparation for the installation of a new roof and windows.

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Extensive internal works have also been undertaken to remodel the ground and lower ground floors to facilitate up to 12 new business units and a specially designed business hub with modern virtual facilities.

The completion of the refurbishment programme will be celebrated at a community gathering in September with a separate event planned for the following month focusing on the new business hub.

Leeds Media Centre is owned by Leeds City Council and managed by Unity Enterprise on a long-term lease.

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise chief executive, said: “It is incredibly satisfying to see the building phase of this transformational project completed on time and on budget.

“Anticipation is already building around what the new facilities will achieve for enterprise in Chapeltown and beyond.

“As a housing association rooted in the local community, Unity is passionately committed to helping individuals improve their life prospects by setting up their own business, finding employment or accessing training and education.

“The brand new facilities at Leeds Media Centre will play a huge role in enabling us to achieve these goals.”

Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise manager, said: “We are grateful to our key partners, Leeds City Council and the European Regional Development Fund, for working closely with us to get this innovative project across the line.

“Having been onsite almost every day since building work commenced, I feel greatly inspired by the potential that Leeds Media Centre now offers to aspiring entrepreneurs to develop themselves and their business ideas.

“I also want to thank our existing tenants who have been so supportive and patient over the past few months.  Exciting times lie ahead.”

Cllr Jonathan Pryor, deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education at Leeds City Council, said: “It’s great to see the building phase complete on these fantastic new facilities at Leeds Media Centre.

“The centre will be an excellent resource for local, new and aspiring entrepreneurs in the city, and we are very much looking forward to seeing the building open for business.”

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Barry White
Barry White has worked for communications agencies in London and Yorkshire, serving the needs of clients including DLA Piper, Kingfisher, Severn Trent plc, Deloitte, and RSA Security. He is a former senior press officer at Yorkshire Forward and, for 25 years, has provided professional communications advice to local and national politicians in Westminster, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.