Yvonne Carmichael from the South Square Centre in Thornton, Bradford talks about how becoming part of Prosper North might support them as they start fundraising for a big refurbishment project.
Tell us a bit about South Square Centre…
We’re a grassroots contemporary art, community and heritage centre set up in 1985, based in a set of Grade II listed workers cottages which were built in 1832.
What appeals to you / your organisation about the Prosper North programme?
In 2016 and 2017 the future of South Square was very uncertain. After a campaign and lots of local support we are pleased to be in the latter stages of a Community Asset Transfer from Bradford Council to secure the building for the next 99 years. So the timing is perfect for us. It’s amazing to be able to look towards the future and learn about how to be more resilient and sustainable.
How do you hope it will help with the challenges and opportunities your organisation faces
The building is in much need of repair, (it is damp, leaky and cold) so we are looking to raise funds for refurbishment. We have done lots of development work to prepare ourselves for this next phase, and have already been successful raising funds to replace the roof. However a heritage capital project is still a very daunting task for us as a small organisation. Tips and advice that prepare us for this and help us avoid potential risks are welcomed.
What are you hoping to achieve by the end of the programme?
It feels like a real privilege to be in a position to learn new things (rather than just be focused-on / struggling-to stay a float!). We are open to learning new things, accessing new opportunities and keen to learn from other like minded people to increase connectivity (and pride) in the north.
Find out more about Prosper North and how to apply for the next edition here.