Save Assembly House

by Assembly House in Leeds, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £14,435

raised so far



With your help we’re going to build a vibrant new home for the dreamers, disruptors and future change-makers, right here in Armley.

by Assembly House in Leeds, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th January 2021 we'd raised £14,305 with 139 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

If we reach our stretch target we'll be able to pay our hard-working studio holders for the renovation works that need doing! 

In a nutshell...

This year has been a real challenge for everyone, and here at Assembly we’ve seen massive parts of our income suddenly disappear, and creatives all across the city struggling just to get by. Now more than ever we all need a sense of community, safe spaces to develop skills and the imagination to dream up the better world we all know is possible.

We need to make big changes. So in January we’re expanding our studios, to create 26 new affordable work spaces, and a dedicated place for workshops, skills training and more. The income from these new studios will help offset what we’ve lost because of Covid, and allow us to finally employ a Studio Technician, making Assembly House self-sufficient far into the future. But we can’t do any of it without your help…

Our values...

Creativity is for everyone, and we celebrate all kinds; from painting to film-making, drawing to dance. Assembly House is a test bed where creatives come to push projects that they’d never get the chance to do anywhere else. We host everything from conceptual art installations to 6am parties to community celebrations. Our events are always friendly and safe, usually with some free food and drinks on offer too.


We cover over 90% of our costs from earned income, and don’t like to rely on grants or public money to get by. That means that every penny of your support will go back into helping local artists, and not disappear in day-to-day costs. 


We exist to support early-career artists, whatever their age or background. All of our studio spaces are rented at cost-price or below, making them the cheapest in the city. We’ve supported more than 90 permanent studio holders so far; including painters, illustrators, photographers, sculptors, designers, makers, performers and many more. We provide year-round free-to-access skills tuition, workshops, exhibitions and public events, careers guidance, local area projects and more for an incredibly eclectic range of people. In the last few months alone this has included people as varied as a 45 year old former drug trafficker, 18 year old painter from rural Oxfordshire, 30 year old ex-offender from our local area, Kenyan former-refugee film-maker, QTIPOC welfare activist and Yorkshire born-and bred sculptor.


We’ve held over 150 exhibitions and dozens of live music events. We’ve painted murals for our community and taken part in local festivals, committees and events. We’ve raised money for Racial Justice Network, MAP, The Real Junk Food Project, Help Refugees UK, Leeds Asylum Seeker Network, BLM Leeds, Help Musicians UK and many more. 


What we've done during Covid-19...

When lockdown started back in March, we decided not to furlough our staff because we felt that creatives needed support now more than ever. We’ve been working tirelessly all year to help out however we can. In the last 8 months we’ve: 

  • Directly raised over £18000 for local creatives by writing their funding applications and offering match funding  
  • Hosted 7 artists on completely free residencies in the Gallery space, to help them continue working 
  • Given out paid commissions to 17 different creatives of all kinds - from spoken word to dance - to make new projects for people to enjoy  
  • Created 2 free permanent studio spaces for local artists 
  • Raised over £500 for BLM Leeds and the Racial Justice Network selling limited edition prints, available here 
  • Hosted online creative workshops, dance, wellness and meditation videos, all totally free 
  • Created downloadable activities for all our audiences, including kids and families to enjoy. Including these ones here and here 


But now we really need your help 

We’ve seen over the last 8 months that so many creatives are really struggling, feeling isolated and alone. All through 2020 we’ve been trying to help out however we can, but now we desperately need more space and a way to generate new income if Assembly is to have a secure future. 

Most of our team are volunteers who make their income in sectors hit hard by Covid, and we usually fund our core staff through income from gigs, gallery hire and events. This has meant it’s been really tough this year making ends meet, and so now we want to find a way to adapt our business model whilst staying self-sufficient, and helping out our community at the same time. 


The master plan...

In January we want to take on a newly-vacant part of our building, doubling our space and meaning we can help twice as many local artists with cost-price studio spaces and access to a support and creative community. 

To do this we urgently need to raise enough funds for the renovation work - putting up walls, fixing windows, laying electrical circuits and sockets, putting in proper fire safety, installing a toilet and studio sinks, painting, decorating and transforming the space into something worthy of the incredibly talented creatives waiting to call it home! 

Once it’s up and running, the space will have enough room for 26 local artists of all kinds to have 24-hour access, physically-distanced studios. In addition, ¼ of all our new studio spaces will be reserved for artists from our local area of Armley, to ensure we keep serving the place we call home. There’ll also be a permanent space for screenings, talks, workshops and more. Even at the most affordable rates in Leeds, this new studio will also earn enough income for us to offset losses from Covid, and to hire a Studio Technician, transforming Assembly House into something truly self-sufficient and sustainable way into the future. 

Get to know us...

For nearly 7 years now Assembly House has been a home for the radical optimists trying to make Leeds a better place through art and culture. Starting out in an abandoned textiles mill along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, we rolled up our sleeves and with no external funding built 18 studios, a gallery, bar, plumbed in toilets, put up walls, laid electrical circuits, installed lights, renovated windows and created one of the longest-running artist-led organisations in Leeds. 


We’re based in Armley -  It’s a wonderful place with so many creative and caring people, but some really serious problems too. Armley is ranked in the bottom 1% of socio-economic deprivation in the whole country, with tragically high suicide rates, low educational attainment, high crime and desperately few opportunities for young people. 


We’re the only visual arts organisation in our entire area, and we’ve been working for seven years to build up trust here and give back to our neighbourhood however we can - giving free tickets to all our gigs for local residents, hosting free neighbourhood parties, arts festivals, workshops, one-to-one mentoring for local artists, free studio spaces, painting neighbourhood murals and more. 


We love it here, and think people in a deprived neighbourhood have just as much of a right to some creativity and culture in their area as anyone else in our city.



Donate £30 or more and select 'Riso Print' to receive this A4 Risograph Print by Mike Winnard, signed edition of 150 on Context 180gsm card, printed by Footprint Worker's Co-operative . Donation includes delivery straight to your door. 


Donate £55 or more and select 'Exclusive Joel Burden Artwork' to receive this limited-edition A3 full colour signed print by the amazing Joel Burden. Signed edition of 50, includes delivery straight to your door. 

Big Thanks To...

Moondogs Productions for the fantastic campaign video 

Ninia Film, Alice Halstead, Kirsty Garland and Mike Winnard for the archive footage 

Our lovely local partners Seagulls, Interplay Theatre, Castleton Mill, LeftBank, East Street Arts, Rawlins Paints, North Star, Anthology Brewing and Milfords Timber for their continued support 

The awesome team at Leeds Inspired and Arts@Leeds

And most of all to the whole amazing family and friends at Assembly House


This project offered rewards

£10 or more

Assembly House Hall of Fame

Pledge £10 or more and your name will be added to our 'Hall of Fame' board in the new studios, for everyone to see how wonderful you are

£30 or more

Limited-edition signed Riso Print!

Pledge £30+ and you'll receive an exclusive limited-edition A4 risographic print from Assembly House, printed right here in Leeds by Footprint Worker's Co-op. Free postage!

£55 or more

Exclusive Joel Burden Artwork

£55 or more and you could own an exclusive, limited-edition signed full-colour A3 print by the inimitable Joel Burden. Free postage!

£250 or more

One-on-one Creative Masterclass

Pledge £250+ and receive a tailored one-on-one art class from one of our incredible studio-holders. Delivered via zoom or in person once the normality returns!

£500 or more

Original Artwork Commission

Pledge £500 or more and make a massive difference to helping secure the future of Assembly House. You'll receive a unique original artwork commission of your choice - painting, portrait, sculpture, you name it! We'll work with you to choose the artist who best fits what you're dreaming of

£1,200 or more

Custom Mural Commission

Pledge £1200 or more and you'll help change Assembly House forever, and allow us to support local artists for years to come. You'll receive a completely bespoke hand-painted mural for your home or business, from professional mural painters Mike Winnard and Jameson Rogan

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