An amazing space
Left Bank Leeds is set inside an amazing Grade II* listed former church building. The impressive interior wows visitors and enhances our programme of arts and events that inspire growth, connection and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for our outside space...that's a whole different matter! Even with the sun shining, you can see it's not the most welcoming of front gardens.
Our vision is to create a welcoming garden that creates opportunities for local people. Making and maintaining this 'pocket park' will require a team of volunteers, and we'll be encouraging the local community to get involved. As well as asking for your ideas, we're hoping to include people in practical tasks like landscaping and planting.
Our finished garden will offer a small oasis of green in a built-up, inner city area. We've consulted residents in our community and we know that people in the local area struggle with social isolation and lack of access to safe green spaces. Comments we gathered during this consultation included, “[A new garden] would give people a safe and welcoming place to enjoy being outside in a community where there is little green space and where the houses and road layout feel very closed and intimidating.”
As well as creating volunteering opportunities, the pocket park will be a space for quiet contemplation, to meet with friends or even meet new people. We hope that it will also encourage more people to discover our programme of arts and events, thereby helping us to achieve our aims of inspiring growth, connection and wellbeing.
Thanks to the support of an individual donor we have been working with the award-winning landscape designer Tracy Foster and members of the local community, to create a welcoming and accessible garden. The design incorporates new flower beds, shrubs and trees that will provide a habitat for insects, birds and other animals – as well as being easy on the eye for us humans! We'll do some landscaping to improve accessibility with a graded lawn, widen and resurface the drive, and create new disabled parking and lighting. We'll also introduce sculptural elements, seating, lighting, signage and a bespoke labyrinth design laid into the ground.
Our funding journey so far
We'd like to thank our funders Wellbeing Trust, Sir George Martin Trust, Leeds Civic Trust and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
With their funding we've been able to start work with Hyde Park Source, a local environmental charity who work with communities in Leeds to improve their surroundings. Unfortunately, we don't have enough to complete phase one of our garden project. We need to raise a further £10k, and this is where you come in!
How your money will be used
With your help, we'll be able to:
- buy large, established blossoming trees to attract birds and insects
- buy plants and shrubs to provide habitat for wildlife
- build a sculptural timber screen from locally sourced Larch
- complete the landscaping
- run a community planting day
We're very excited to be working with Legal & General who are offering to match fund this project. We need to raise £5k from our very generous supporters (that's you!) to get an additional £5k from Legal & General. However, there's a catch. Our project isn't the only one in line for match funding, and the funding is allocated on a first come, first served basis. This means we need to raise the money as quickly as possible in order to double it!
As a thank you, every single person who donates to our fund will be invited to the official opening event on 25 September 2019. We're hosting a garden party that coincides with Left Bank's 10th birthday and we'd love to see lots of our lovely supporters there. No matter how much you donate, you'll be invited along to enjoy the space.
Please help us
Please do pledge whatever you can to help us create a beautiful garden that will enhance our local community. When it's finished, you'll be able to enjoy the garden for years to come, in the knowledge that you had a hand in its creation!
Thanks in advance, we really do appreciate your support.
The team at Left Bank Leeds