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Two weeks ago, we paid a visit to Headingley Development Trust – and their Community Arts Centre, HEART (Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre) in Leeds. We were so very warmly welcomed by Mike and Richard there – and our lunch was fantastic. HEART is a community venture set up by the Headingley Development Trust in 2011. It occupies the former Headingley Primary School in the heart of Headingley. Here’s their (rather good!) website for more info:

HEART’s excellent cafe area

The trip was generously funded by Locality’s Knowledge and Skills Exchange, for which we are very grateful. And, indeed, Cass from Locality came along with us to support us – as did Jane from Sector Support – thanks to both of you!

Our main aims were to have a look at a really well-run ‘community centre’ (HEART is quite deliberately not called that, which is something we might think about…) – and it really is well-run. They have a very slick operation without it becoming terribly corporate and managerial as can happen. It really does have its own identity – warm, welcoming, and positive.

HEART Building
The HEART building

We also wanted to find out more about their community share issues which help pay for their projects – and Richard and Mike were so very generous with their own experience and knowledge and so informative and entertaining, I think we came away with a real sense of what’s possible for us.

And we feel we have made some new friends – thank you, HEART!

Here are some comments from our gang…

Cyril: The Leeds visit. Was a very informative and enjoyable experience. Our hosts were both pleasant and informative and more than willing to answer all our questions. All round a very enjoyable day.

Emma: It was very interesting learning how other programs get to where they are now and how much they are growing . Even though I sat quiet I was taking all info in and had a great time so thankyou.

Pete: Although their catchment area could not be more different I think they managed to give a very clear and straightforward blueprint for a community share issue. A very good visit, they made it a much less daunting project going forward for us.

A view of the cafe