A Bradford-based charity has moved into former bar premises in the ‘top of town’ area, hoping to use the space as a hub for its community projects, which include its second social supermarket as well as support services for vulnerable people.

Inn Churches, a registered charity which works with over 100 other community groups and organisations, has taken on the building on Rawson Road, just off of Westgate, which has previously been occupied by Bradford Brewery and more recently Eyes Brewing.

The building has been gifted to the charity, rent free, by Shaw Water Meters, following the brewery's closure.

With support from FareShare Yorkshire, Feeding Britain, and Homeless Link, fit-out work has begun on site, with a view to an official opening this month.

Inn Churches hopes to use the new premises as a community resource which provides a base for enterprises, affordable and nutritious food for local residents and support for people looking to return to work or acquire new skills.

This new project will expand on the work already taking place at the charity’s base on Caledonia Street, where it runs Jude’s Urban kitchen and Cookery School, and part of the premises will also form the charity’s second social supermarket - where a range of food and goods will be available to members at low prices.

Local residents will be referred for membership by Incommunities, CAP and other authorised agencies, while they are also able to self-refer.

Once signed up, members will be encouraged to join the Bradford Credit Union and, where needed, home deliveries will be offered.

Juli Thompson, CEO and Project Manager of Inn Churches, said: “We have, understandably, seen a massive demand for our services in the past three months, distributing food across the district to support foodbanks and feeding projects. With support from FareShare, Participate, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, Bradford Council and Feeding Bradford and Keighley, along with many others, we have contributed towards around 386,000 meals.

“However, we want to help families to support themselves and not be reliant on food parcels and handouts. We see this new initiative as offering a source of training and employment, as well as a route into food growing schemes.

“We have an amazing range of partners across the district and would love to hear from others who would be interested in working with us."

Andrew Forsey, of Feeding Britain, said: “We are privileged to work with Inn Churches and the Feeding Bradford network on innovative ways of improving people’s access to affordable, nutritious food.

“This new initiative aims to provide both immediate and longer-term forms of assistance, which will put large sums of money back into people’s pockets."

Gareth Batty, of FareShare Yorkshire, said:“FareShare Yorkshire is delighted to be supporting this incredible project. We have been working with Inn Churches for over six years, to ensure that surplus food can be redistributed to groups and individuals across the district, and we are looking forward to continuing this work to help more people in Bradford.”