New Centre for Smart Works Leeds

Bowman Riley supported the charity, Smart Works Leeds on a pro-bono basis with the interior design, space planning and the role of principal designer on their new premises within the multi-tenanted Mabgate Mills complex located on the northern edge of Leeds city centre.

With HRH The Duchess of Sussex as the royal patron, Smart Works is a UK charity that provides high-quality clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need, who have been referred from job centres, prisons, care homes, homeless shelters and mental health charities.

Our support to Smart Works follows our design of the refurbishment of the 19th century Mabgate Mills increasing the quality of the vacant office and studio spaces to attract new tenants as part of the vibrant working community.

We provided an efficient space plan for the premises to ensure that the environment works well for how they will use the space considering the process from arrival to dressing and mentoring.  We designed an office, private interview rooms, changing rooms, stock room and consultation areas as well as display areas for the clothing and accessories.

We took into consideration careful details like flattering lighting, private areas for consultations and an inspiration wall to pin thank you cards, inspirational quotes or images to empower the women as they arrive in the waiting area. To support the charity’s ongoing publicity, we are creating a social media wall as a backdrop for the charity’s photographs and social media posts.

Providing a pivotal role in the project, we brought on board the fit-out contractor, Ultimate and introduced lighting and furniture suppliers. Many items were sourced free of charge to reduce the outlay for the charity.

The overall result is a warm and welcoming space that appeals to the women the charity helps and reflects the diverse local area as well as the charity’s brand.

Amanda O’Neill, the Business Manager at Smart Works Leeds said:

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the service provided by Bowman Riley.  The whole team have gone above and beyond our expectations in terms of project delivery. Within a matter of weeks, they have turned an empty shell of a building into a warm and welcoming space.  They have been unbelievably accommodating, extremely helpful and supportive in ensuring our charity centre is ready to launch.  A massive thank you from the Smart Works team to Bowman Riley for all you have done for us.  We are extremely grateful”.