Lighthouse Futures Trust chief executive officer Katie Parlett.
Jane Imrie

Leeds Grade II building to become specialist further education college

A Leeds-based education charity is set to launch a new college in a Grade II listed building in West Yorkshire.

Lighthouse Futures Trust has chosen Moorfield House on Alma Road in Headingley for the site of its new further education facility.

The property’s owner, Illuminating Investments, has agreed to let an initial 9000 sq ft of the imposing Grade II building to the charity who will use the space to create a further education college for young adults with autism and learning disabilities.

Lighthouse Futures Trust chief executive officer, Katie Parlett, explained: “The statistics for young people with learning difficulties moving into employment are only 16 per cent which is shockingly low compared to research that shows over 70 per cent really want to work.

“For the past five years we have been working with some of the region’s major employers – Yorkshire Water, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, John Lewis, Leeds City Council and others – to provide a 12-month supported internship. This enables our talented interns to learn what it is like to work in a business setting, and to try out a range of roles in different areas.

“This move to Moorfield House enables us to significantly increase our programme this year and the site gives us an opportunity to grow to over 100 students in the future.

“Illuminating Investments has been a supportive landlord, pulling out all the stops to help us develop just part of the building first whilst we work very hard behind the scenes to secure the additional finances required.”

Carter Towler director, Richard Fraser, added: “We are absolutely delighted that Lighthouse Futures is moving to Headingley and we are very excited to see their amazing plans for the refurbishment of Moorfield House take shape.

The themed learning zones will include hotel and restaurant hubs, office suites and IT and media suites – all the kinds of workplaces their students are preparing for.

“This is the first step in the charity’s ambitious plans and we wish them the very best of luck in securing all the funding they need for their expansion and ultimately for the purchase of the building.”

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