Leeds Media Centre in Chapeltown is edging closer to its ultimate transformation, thanks to Unity Enterprise securing crucial funds for a cutting-edge business hub aimed at nurturing the next wave of entrepreneurs.

The ownership of the building lies with Leeds City Council, which has allocated £80,000 from the Innovation@Leeds capital fund to furnish the dedicated space with state-of-the-art furniture, video conferencing facilities, and computer hardware.

Reopened in September following an extensive £1.8 million refurbishment, which included a new roof, windows, and the redesign of two floors, Leeds Media Centre now boasts 12 new business units.

The redevelopment initiative was executed by Unity Enterprise, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise. This collaborative effort, also involving Leeds City Council and the European Regional Development Fund, has positioned Leeds Media Centre among three business locations operated by Unity Enterprise near the city centre. Alongside Chapeltown Enterprise Centre and Unity Business Centre, they offer 142 managed workspaces, accommodating over 900 employees across 90 local businesses.

Scheduled to launch in the spring, the new business hub will kick off with a week-long series of events themed around entrepreneurship, with further details to be revealed soon.

Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise manager, said; “We are immensely grateful to Leeds City Council for their continued backing for aspiring entrepreneurs by enabling us to kit out the business hub with the best equipment available.

“Our mission is to support local people to launch and grow a business and create life opportunities in an inner-city part area with so much potential.

“The redeveloped Leeds Media Centre is already making its mark on the city’s business landscape. I have no doubt that the new hub will propel the site to even greater heights.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said; “This is another brilliant step forward for Leeds Media Centre and further reinforces our commitment to inclusive innovation within the city.

“We’re continuing to build and support an ecosystem where entrepreneurs from every background have the tools, quality workspaces and accommodation close to where they live to help them reach their full potential.

“It is particularly important that we look at access points outside the city centre for people to access business and innovation support programmes and continue on our bold ambition to stimulate innovation which drives and delivers measurable impact towards a healthier, greener and inclusive future.”

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise chief executive said; “Each new business generated by the hub can transform life chances by boosting career development, generating jobs and increasing local prosperity.

“With Unity Enterprise preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, the opportunities for people of all ages to build a sustainable business in Chapeltown are growing rapidly.

“Working closely with Leeds City Council and other valued partners, we intend to remain at the forefront of this crusade.”