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Our history


Who we are

Chapeltown Development Trust is a community organisation. We formally became a company Limited by Guarantee (no: 7896036) in January 2012.

The aim of Chapeltown Development Trust is to work with others to improve the life of residents of Chapeltown and its surrounding areas.

What we do

2012 Community conversations

Chapeltown Development Trust ran a series of ‘open space’ meetings for residents and workers in Chapeltown to meet, share views and thoughts without any pre-set ideas about what to discuss. These open spaces allowed residents to share common views about the things that were important to them. As a result two ideas that emerged from the open space events have been developed by Chapeltown Development Trust. These are the ‘Festival of Lights’ and ‘Chapeltown Arts Festival’.

2012 – 2015 Community Markets

Summer and Christmas markets were held at the Reginald Centre on Chapeltown Road. The Community Markets were started because local residents thought that it would be a good idea to run local markets for local people to trade, shop and have a place to meet in the summer months. The Christmas or ‘festive’ market was set as the start of having a series of markets – a festival of lights to celebrate significant events of different faiths beginning with the Hindu festival of Diwali and the Muslim festival of Eid in (around) October and the Jewish and Christian festivals of Hanukkah and Christmas in (around) December

January 2014 – October 2015 Chapeltown Enterprise Network (CEN)

Chapeltown Development Trust worked in partnership with Unity Enterprise to provide business support to existing small business and to help local people to set up their own business through the CEN. Over this period Chapeltown Development Trust:

  • supported over 55 local social and commercial businesses
  • helped 6 people to set up new businesses
  • created and protected 15 jobs in Chapeltown
  • helped new businesses to raise an additional £64,600 to get their businesses started
  • distributed 61 recycled computers to support new businesses

Chapeltown Development Trust has done this by providing individual support and training to unemployed and under employed residents of Chapeltown and other inner-city neighbourhoods.

July 2014 Chapeltown Arts Festival

Chapeltown Development Trust supported the Chapeltown Arts Festival to become established in its first year by supporting the 4 days of creative activity in Chapeltown. The festival has run every year since then and has grown in success providing poetry, music, dance, arts market and other creativity events for younger and older people. In 2016 the Chapeltown Arts Festival has plans to extend yet further the number of events held over the festive week in July and to increase the numbers of people involved in creative activities in Chapeltown.

November 2015 – 2016 GateWay @ Chapeltown (GateWay)

GateWay is a business and enterprise support programme for residents largely of Chapeltown and Harehills, Scotthall, Potternewton, Beck Hills and Meanwood. GateWay is open to any inner-city resident who wants to set up their own business. The first stage of getting support is for an individual assessment to be undertaken of what each person wants to do and where they would benefit from training or other support. Once the assessment has been completed a programme of support is developed to meet the needs of each individual client of GateWay. The purpose of GateWay is to work with partners to link GateWay clients to existing training or services. Where there is no service available to meet the needs of a client Gateway attempts to fill the gap. The role of GateWay therefore is precisely to act as a GateWay for our clients to other services or to provide them ourselves.

The work undertaken by Chapeltown Development Trust is managed by a Board of 12 individuals, female and male, of mixed ages and different ethnic backgrounds. All Board members either live or work in Chapeltown or in surrounding inner-city neighbourhoods. The Board meets 10 – 12 times a year. Chapeltown Development Trust Board members and other interested volunteers manage Chapeltown Development Trust projects through a sub-group structure. This has included:

  • Market sub group (now coming to an end)
  • Publicity sub group
  • Finance sub group
  • GateWay sub group (soon to be replaced by the GateWay Advisory Group)