Estates Development - Northern School of Contemporary Dance

We are located in the heart of Chapeltown and poised to effect real change through the expansion of our estate. We have begun the process of developing a larger vision, with more opportunities to bring training and professional practice together; inspire young people in Leeds to dream bigger and send a clear message to those who are often excluded by society that they matter.

We are proud of our location and its rich blend of diverse cultures. Our aim is to be forward thinking and build a cultural estate that welcomes education and community, contributing to employment, social mobility, widening access, cultural engagement and health and wellbeing.

Our ambitions keep us firmly rooted in our locality with an outward-facing global approach to the work we deliver.


Phase 1

The first phase of development is largely complete and focused on upgraded existing facilities. The full refurbishment programme cost £1.5M and included:

  • reroofing
  • repointing
  • installing new boilers and heating system
  • upgrading ventilation in the studios
  • replacing disabled access lifts

Additional works include the creation of a dedicated student support suite, redecorating, re-carpeting and updating signage. LED lighting has been installed in phases to improve energy efficiency. The final phase of these initial works includes scoping final roofing works and potential improvements to student changing rooms.


Phase 2

The second phase is to refurbish the interior of the school’s theatre, which is used as both a studio and a performance space. This includes:

  • upgrading the backstage facilities
  • reconfiguring seating for better accessibility
  • increasing audience capacity
  • improving the audience experience
  • updating the lighting system, including stage lights, rigging and lighting box

We are currently developing detailed plans and drawings to support our application for external funds to support this phase of development.



Phase 3

The third phase of the project is to explore our vision for the local area – helping to create a thriving Chapeltown Cultural Quarter. Maximising cultural capital, our aim is to provide:

  • a new health & fitness suite and sports facilities open to the community
  • cafe/bar open to the public
  • new spaces for physical activities, including dance studios
  • new studio theatre
  • research centre

This will function as a new public realm accessible to all in Chapeltown and develop new creative offers for local artists.

Working with partners in Chapeltown and the city centre, a potential development would be a hub for education, creativity and the community.

A community consultation with residents of Chapeltown is currently underway, in conjunction with Unity Homes and Enterprise, RJC Dance and Leeds City Council.