Northern Monk’s breweries, tap room and offices are all located in Holbeck, one of the 0.2% most deprived areas of the UK. As a business they’ve committed themselves to changing perceptions of the area – last year, they funded and co-ordinated a street art mural by Northern Monk Patrons Nomad Clan and Tank Petrol. The piece (which is one of the most ambitious in the North of England) pays homage to the history and heritage of Holbeck and features industrial pioneer John Marshall, and Hayley from Nomad Clan’s Grandfather, Jimmy Boy, who worked in the mills himself. Northern Monk then celebrated this by releasing a limited-edition beer, City of Industry, which featured the mural artwork on the can.
‘Humans of Holbeck’ is Northern Monk’s next community-focused project. The brewery supplied the service users of Holbeck Elderly Aid with 25 cameras and facilitated photography classes, which enabled residents of the local community to go out and take pictures of their favourite parts of the area.
The best of these photographs have been printed in a calendar that was designed by Holbeck-based brand design agency, Robot Food, and printed by Awesome Merch who are located in Wellington Road Industrial Estate.
On Friday 12th October, Holbeck Elderly Aid will be hosting an exhibition of the images captured by their service users, which will take place at Northern Monk’s Old Flax Store site, and the calendars will be available to purchase on the night.
Speaking about the community project, Founder of Northern Monk Brew Co, Russell Bisset, says:
“Over the past four years we have sent more than 1 million cans of beer to over 23 countries across the world, stating that they were made in Holbeck. We’re proud to call the area home. Once celebrated for its industrial prowess the area has fallen on harder times in recent years and the image often portrayed by the media focuses on the negative. We want to work with our community to showcase this diverse and vibrant area, as well as pay homage to the history and heritage of this part of the North, once a key part of the industrial revolution. All proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go to Holbeck Elderly Aid, supporting the work that they do in the community”
Elissa Newman, Chief Officer at Holbeck Elderly Aid says,
“Holbeck has a rich history shaped by the people who have lived and worked in the area. It’s a history brimming with pride, entrepreneurship and success. What’s been really interesting is hearing people say that they have begun looking and thinking about the places that are familiar to them in a different way, since taking part in the project. It has been fantastic to work on a venture which brings people of all ages together to work in partnership with a local business like Northern Monk, an organisation that shares HEA’s commitment to social change.
Many modern businesses want to ensure they not only thrive and grow, but that the communities where they’re based benefit from their success too. Yet without direct links into the most vulnerable sections of the community it can be hard for businesses to know how best to help. At HEA we are committed to building connections between local residents, organisations and businesses”
The photography exhibition will begin at 7pm on Friday 12th October at Chapter Hall, The Old Flax Store, Marshalls Mill, LS11 9YJ. Entry is open to all, and admission is free.