Multicultural Chapeltown


Goat or chicken curry? Potternewton Park’s the place to be on August Bank Holiday. Photo: Strawbleu

One of the defining characteristics of Chapeltown is the rich diversity of its population, and ChaCo is keen to ensure that its membership reflects this diversity.

In the UK to date, however, there has been significant under-representation of people of colour in cohousing schemes, which instead tend to be populated by people from the white middle class, often university-educated and with access to capital. Unsurprisingly, few people in high-deprivation areas like Chapeltown will be aware of cohousing, and those who are will often assume that it’s beyond their financial reach.

We’re hoping to change all that…

What’s the ethnic mix in this area?

The Office for National Statistics publish tables relating to the “Ethnic Group” question in the 2011 Census. Two areas are of particular interest to ChaCo.

Chapeltown_MSOA_042The Leeds 042 MSOA (Middle Layer Super Output Area) covers a larger area than what most locals would consider to be Chapeltown. But oddly, it excludes some of the streets around Sholebroke Avenue, while including nearly everything else up to the Potternewton Lane / Scott Hall Road roundabout, plus bits of Chapel Allerton.

Census figures are also available for Leeds 042E LSOA – a much smaller sub-section (shown in purple on the map) that covers the area immediately around and including ChaCo’s proposed site.

2011 Census – Ethnic Group data for Chapeltown

ChaCo’s bit of
White; English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British 28.7% 11.5%
White; Irish 1.1% 0.6%
White; Gypsy or Irish Traveller 0.2% 0.2%
White; Other White 4.5% 3.5%
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups; White and Black Caribbean 5.4% 7.3%
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups; White and Black African 1.2% 1.9%
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups; White and Asian 0.9% 0.9%
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups; Other Mixed 1.1% 1.1%
Asian/Asian British; Indian 5.0% 1.9%
Asian/Asian British; Pakistani 12.7% 10.0%
Asian/Asian British; Bangladeshi 4.2% 4.9%
Asian/Asian British; Chinese 0.9% 1.3%
Asian/Asian British; Other Asian 3.1% 4.0%
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British; African 7.4% 14.1%
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British; Caribbean 16.0% 26.5%
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British; Other Black 6.1% 9.2%
Other Ethnic Group; Arab 0.3% 0.4%
Other Ethnic Group; Any Other Ethnic Group 1.3% 0.7%
TOTALS 100% 100%

Office for National Statistics, (KS201EW) Leeds 042 MSOA and Leeds 042E LSOA.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the area immediately around ChaCo that best fits the common perception of Chapeltown as an African-Caribbean area, although Asian and other ethnic minority groups are also well represented. Maybe the most telling statistic for ChaCo, however, is that the aggregated White population is just 16% in this area.

Positive action

For the purposes of our Allocations Policy, ChaCo has grouped the ethnic descriptions above into four broad categories. No-one’s been left out and – because it’s important that there should be no discrimination – we treat all four groups in exactly the same way.

For each of these four groups we’re aiming for at least 15% of the households to have one or more people from that group.

ChaCo’s bit of
White 35% 16%
Asian / Asian British 26% 22%
African-Caribbean / Black British 21% 34%
Other BME 18% 28%
TOTALS 100% 100%

Black Lives Matter

ChaCo is committed to diversity and inclusivity and supports all seeking justice for George Floyd and anyone who has lost their life to police brutality.

As part of the Chapeltown community, we believe in equality and equity, and recognise the structural and systemic racism that exists in the UK and all over the world.

Now more than ever we need to educate, engage and challenge – ourselves and others – in the struggle against racism.