Hamara increases funding drive to transform Old Cockburn Sports Hall

Hamara Healthy Living Centre has launched a buy-a-brick campaign as part of its plans to raise funds to redevelop the Old Cockburn Sports Hall in Hunslet Moor.

Hamara took over the hall in 2016 and have developed plans to recreate it as The Cockburn Centre, which will be an innovative, new, community led and transformational grassroots development. The centre will boast a range of state of the art, accessible facilities, including rental spaces. Planning permission for the new centre has already been granted.

The vision for The Cockburn Centre is to provide a holistic, engaging and inclusive environment for the community, allowing Hamara to offer employment opportunities, a leisure wellbeing and community hub, support for youth development, with a strong focus on Digital health, mental health and community cohesion.

Hamara have secured £1m of the £3m needed to realise their vision and are currently applying to the Community Ownership Fund from the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to help start building. But with the rise in utilities and building costs, the Old Cockburn Sports Hall, as it stands, is at risk of closure if funding is not secured.

Arnie Sajad, Project Lead for The Cockburn Centre said:

“The Cockburn Centre project continues to secure funding and gain support from Senior Leaders and stakeholders across the City of Leeds. I am really proud of what Hamara has achieved to date and the resilience we have shown as a Team in testing times. Hamara has applied to The Community Ownership Fund for £1m as part of The Levelling Up plan. I want to thank the Hamara Board of Trustees for their continued support and drive for this exciting new development.”

Hamara is now looking for support from local businesses, volunteers and stakeholders, as well as people to apply to join the Cockburn Community Committee. You can find more about the Buy A Brick campaign here: www.hamara.org.uk/buy-a-brick

Raheem Mohammad , the Interim Director at Hamara commented:

“The need for this project continues to grow and with the support of our entire team, stakeholders and community, The Cockburn Centre project has started to gain some real traction. The facility will be inclusive and accessible to all and will be a central base for support and leisure for the citizens of the ward and the city as a whole.

“As a South Leeds resident, I am proud to see how much the area has developed over the last decade and a site of this specification will only enhance our locality even further. I can’t wait to see it built and being used.”

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal (Labour, Hunslet & Riverside), the new Chair of Trustees at Hamara, added:

“This is an exciting project and fantastic news for our South Leeds community to have a brand new state of the art community centre and sports hall built in the heart of Hunslet and Riverside ward.

“We have raised just over 1 million pounds so far and are confident that the remaining £2m will be raised soon to enable the completion of the building.”


This post was written by Josie Binns

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