ELP black logo trim

Welcome to the East Leeds Project

The East Leeds Project is a creative conversation about what life is like in the east of the city, and how it might develop into the future, questioning ideas around community, identity, sustainability, and participation. The project focuses on the corridor of green and blue space following the Wyke Beck route between Roundhay and Rothwell, linking these as one space for artistic exploration.

The East Leeds Project intends to respond to deep-seated social challenges and the disconnect between communities on the fringes and the burgeoning city centre. The Wyke Beck route is a wonderful asset that could enhance the lives of residents in some of the most deprived areas of the city. There’s an opportunity for the project to make links across areas such as Gipton, Harehills, Seacroft, Cross Gates, Killingbeck and Halton Moor among others, engaging people more with the green space on their doorstep and contributing to improved health and wellbeing.

With conservation at the heart of the project, this ‘green lung’ is essential for future sustainability, both locally – in terms of breaking down the problem of a ‘two-tier city’ that the Leeds2023 bid sought to address – and in helping the wider city find creative responses to urgent challenges such as flood alleviation and pollution. If you’re interested in these issues and east Leeds, please get in touch!

More information coming soon. To stay connected as the project develops, please sign up to the mailing list mailing list here.

East Leeds Project CIC is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.

What Makes Gipton?

Come and see ‘What Makes Gipton?’ at Gipton Gala!

Gipton Gala, Sunday 14 July, 11am – 4pm
FREE, All welcome, level access


This year’s Gipton Gala is nearly here! Come and join us on Fearnville Fields on Sunday 14 July to get involved in our new commission What Makes Gipton? by artist Andy Abbott, funded by Leeds Inspired. The work uses oversize modular parts which slot together like a house of cards to create a huge interactive sculptural installation. Each card carries images of work by Makers from east Leeds, covering everything from graphic design and illustration to printmaking, screenwriting, puppetry, painting, drawing, sculpture, felting, embroidery, artist’s publications, theatre and radio production. The installation is brought to life through the use of Augmented Reality. Holding up a mobile device reveals hidden digital content. 3D models, image slideshows, and videos appear on the structure, including short films showing the Makers themselves talking about their work – why they do it, where they make it, and what they love about being creative.

Throughout the day there will be the chance to use tablets to access this digital content, and to talk to Andy, the ELP team and other Makers about the project. If you download the Zappar app in advance you’ll be able to use your own device. You can also get involved in reshaping the structure as we take it apart and rebuild it in different configurations. What Makes Gipton? is part of our longer-term ambition to build a Maker Space for east Leeds, in partnership with Bauman Lyons architects, MassBespoke, and Leeds City Council/Leeds2023. Find out more about this on the day and how you can get involved in the research and development stage.

It’s been exciting to find so much creative talent right across east Leeds, and this is only the beginning. After the Gala we’ll be sending the work on tour around east Leeds to continue the conversation, thanks to our recent successful Crowdfunder campaign. We’ll be talking to people who already make, people who would love to get involved but don’t know how or where to start, and anyone who’s just curious about what ‘making’ means and why people do it. Keep an eye on our social media and our website for further info, and come and join in.

Andy Abbott is an artist, musician, writer and arts organiser living and working in West Yorkshire. He has exhibited and performed internationally as an individual artist and in various collaborations including the art collective Black Dogs. Recent projects include a participatory map looking at Bradford Common Spaces for the National Science and Media Museum, and a Virtual Reality video game set in Luton for the town’s Pilot Year of Culture. www.andyabbott.co.uk

With thanks to all the Makers who’ve allowed the use of their images:

Alocin’s Crafts (Scholes)
Ann Barrass (Whitkirk)
Ellen Burroughs (Gipton)
Buttercrumble (Whinmoor)
Callum Casey (Seacroft)
Chapel FM (Seacroft)
Rachael Fox (Leeds)
Alexandra Francis (Whinmoor)
Tracy Francis (Whinmoor)
Paul Harker (Gipton)
Joanna Jowett (Halton)
Suman Kaur (east Leeds)
Diane Lofthouse (Roundhay)
Hannah Merrill (Halton)
Spinning Lizard (Cross Gates)
Naomi Roxby Wardle (Seacroft)

What Makes Gipton? is funded by Leeds Inspired and is part of Index Festival 2019, a new visual arts festival for Leeds and Wakefield taking place during Yorkshire Sculpture International. www.indexfestival.org

With thanks also to our partners Bauman Lyons architects, MassBespoke, Leeds City Council and Leeds2023





The Pavilion

The East Leeds Pavilion

Design-Construct-Explore-Together. Repeat?

Announcing a partnership between the East Leeds Project, MassBespokeTM and the communities of east Leeds.

The potential site of the East Leeds Pavilion, close to Fearnville Leisure Centre.


It is our ambition to create a temporary ‘Pavilion’ on green space in east Leeds. Our preferred site is adjacent to Fearnville Leisure Centre in Gipton. The Pavilion will be a shared space, managed locally, where people come together for conversation, creativity and exchange. The process will be entered into collaboratively by local people alongside artists, architects, students and professionals from a range of disciplines, coming together to form an intergenerational project team. The project aims to reconnect with histories of innovation in sustainable social housing central to the founding vision for the Gipton estate in the 1930s, as we approach its centenary.


The Pavilion will utilise the MassBespokeTM system developed in Leeds by Bauman Lyons architects. This pioneering technology democratises the construction process by enabling a community-led approach responding to local need. MassBespokeTM employs a computer-controlled (CNC) cutting machine set up on site in a ‘Flying Factory’ to fabricate components from digital design files sent from anywhere in the world. From these, agile, high-performance timber cassettes are fabricated and rapidly assembled onsite by a local workforce comprising skilled and semi-skilled workers. Training is built into the project programme at every stage, and outputs will include enhanced digital literacy and skills development for those seeking employment. The project facilitates exchange between workers, residents and professionals sharing their respective skills, specialisms and enthusiasms with each other. MassBespokeTM is designed to achieve high standards of environmental performance, optimise use of materials, eliminate waste, and remove the need for heavy transport and lifting equipment at all stages of construction.


The Pavilion will provide a maker space for activity led by stakeholders. As a creative hub it will enable responsiveness to key dates in the cultural calendar such as Light Night and the Gipton Gala, and provide a base for exploring the Wyke Beck Valley on foot and by bicycle. Although imagined as a temporary structure, the Pavilion will be robust and could remain in situ for a number of years. Over time, a ribbon of pavilions could be constructed throughout east Leeds, growing cultural infrastructure where little currently exists and specifically addressing the complete absence of creative workspaces in the east of the city. Structures constructed through the MassBespokeTM system are potentially mobile, and once disassembled the land can be returned to its original state.


Once established, the Factory could enable many communities to build homes and other facilities. It could generate a new social enterprise of community makers supplying garden sheds, workshops, garages, house extensions and so on through a local supply chain adding social value to place making. The Pavilion will form an R&D phase as we test the technology, build community trust and enhance our understanding of local infrastructure needs, and gather our workforce and creative team. We are actively seeking potential partners and collaborators for the project including local residents, businesses and organisations, citywide training and service providers, and creative makers of all kinds, particularly those based in east Leeds.

If you’d like to get involved, please contact us for more information.

Photography credit: Andy Irving


Are you coming to the East Leeds Makers Social?

The East Leeds Makers Social 4pm-7pm, Thursday 27th June 2019 Upstairs at Gipton Methodist Church* Makers of all kinds across east Leeds are invited to our first East Leeds Makers Social on 27 June. We’ve commissioned Bradford-based artist Andy Abbott to create a new participatory project about ‘making’ for this year’s Gipton Gala, funded by …


To get in touch and/or join our mailing list, complete the form below.