Charities are flocking to use a new centre in Bradford offering free office space.

Since an appeal went out in February, charities have been snapping up the offer to move into Arndale House in Charles Street – and now there is only room for one more, thanks to an organisation which specialises in creating charity hubs in empty buildings.

The initiative is Centric Community Projects’ first foray into Bradford and its co-ordinator Charlotte Russo says the response has been fantastic.

“We’ve only got room for one more left now and we’ve got viewing for that on Wednesday so it looks as though we’re going to be completely full very soon,” she said. The scheme works by buildings being ‘donated’ to Centric – itself a charity based at Milton Keynes – when they become empty.

Charities are allowed to use the space free of charge until owners are able to let the room to profit-making concerns.

One of the charities that has made its home in Arndale House is The Chantelle Bleau Memorial Fund.

The fund was set up in 1997 after the death of 16-year-old Chantelle Bleau who died from inhaling butane gas. It now campaigns to reduce similar deaths by running educational programmes in schools. Miss Russo said the Arndale House project was “brilliant” for charities and other non-profit organisations.

As well as charities, Centric also aims to help community groups, artists and business start-ups by the jobless, disabled or disadvantaged.

In some of the buildings Centric has filled, charities have started doing joint projects together with much good work being done as a result,” said Charlotte.

The space can be used for any charitable activities, for example an admin, office or as a training facility, and is totally free although those who want a phone line or Wi-Fi connection have to pay the cost. Centric works on a six-month basis with 30 days notice on either side.

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