By: 22 November 2019
Blacks Solicitors supports MAP Charity on Hope Foundry purchase

Blacks Solicitors has overseen and helped coordinate the purchase of Grade II-listed Hope Foundry on Mabgate in Leeds on behalf of Music and Arts Production (MAP) Charity.

Leeds-based MAP Charity offers BTEC qualifications in creative media and art and design, alongside maths and English, to 11- to 16-year-olds. Having already been MAP Charity’s headquarters for 10 years, Blacks helped complete the purchase of the 207-year-old Foundry following a two-year-long campaign.

Blacks was chosen due to its reputation and recommendations from MAP Charity’s peer organisations and supporters. The law firm’s team volunteered their time, providing ongoing support to help shape plans, prior to the commencement of the largest deal in the history of the charity.

Gaia Rosenberg Colorni, project manager and independent evaluator at MAP Charity, commented: “I would like to thank Beth [Laidler] and the rest of the team at Blacks for their support throughout the purchase. Their contributions have been invaluable and we’ve loved working with them. The team has put in so much time and effort, and gone above and beyond what we could have hoped for. We couldn’t be more grateful for the result of all their hard work.”

Beth Laidler, a partner in the commercial property team at Blacks, added: “Supporting deals like this that benefit the local community is highly rewarding. It’s been a fantastic experience working with the team at MAP Charity and the hard work of everyone involved has really paid off.”

“We are thrilled to see the Hope Foundry project become a reality and are looking forward to seeing how the building develops and the important part it will play in shaping the local community moving forward.”

Hope Foundry dates back to 1812, when Samuel Lawson—a local businessman born in 1782—used it as a base for his textile machinery manufacturing business.

The building was originally known as Hope House (a name retained by MAP Charity for its performance space) and was associated with world-leading production standards, driving forward the industrial revolution and placing Mabgate firmly on the industrial map.

Hope Foundry closed its doors as a factory in 1930 following 118 eminent years of design, manufacturing and industry heritage. Following its closure and partial demolition, production on the site shifted from that of heavy manufacturing industries to craft and small-scale industries, such as textiles, jewellery and watchmaking.

Today, only a small proportion of Hope Foundry remains—most notably the highly decorative Grade II-listed property. The building stands proud on the junction of Hope Road and Mabgate.

Following the purchase, MAP Charity is fundraising to undertake a major refurbishment, after committing to preserving the heritage of Hope Foundry while converting the building into a centre for the creative arts.

The charity aims to transform the building into a place where everyone can access the creative arts—incorporating new creative studios, a community café and gallery spaces. The charity is urging the public to dig deep and support its campaign to both unlock the potential of the heritage site and create a new community asset with creativity at its heart.

Blacks recently advised Wakefield-based live events campus Production Park on the sale of subsidiaries Brilliant Stages and LS-Live to US live technology firm TAIT.

Pictured: Nick Dyson, Beth Laidler and Tom Smith