Heart Headingley

Site: Headingley Primary School
Type: School
Location: Leeds
Owner: Leeds City Council
Lessee: Headingley Development Trust


Headingley Development Trust was established in 2005 in response to a threat that Headingley Primary School, built in 1882, might be converted into student flats. The board of directors had to convince Leeds City Council to forgo a substantial capital receipt and this required long and sometimes difficult negotiations.

Ownership was finally transferred to the Trust in 2010 on a 125-year lease. The sale of a community centre nearby formed part of the rationale for the transfer, which was reflected in a lease condition to provide community centre provision for 25 years.

A successful model

The building, known as HEART, is now well used by local people and businesses, with a main hall and a variety of smaller rooms for hire. This combination of uses provides a variety of income streams, but a number of volunteers are still required in addition to paid staff.


The school was in need of repair and remodelling costing around £1.3m. This was financed through a community share issue, supported by the trust's large membership of over 1,000 members, plus loans and grant funding.