First we met Louise from Scrap in Leeds, a social enterprise focused on providing resources for arts and children’s play from materials which were destined for landfill. The have an amazing shop and space for workshops, events and training covering an enormous floor of an old mill in Farsley in West Leeds. From there they sell materials for local artists and provide unique play experiences for early years’ services, schools and parents. The materials are all recovered from local retail businesses and would otherwise end up in landfill. Louise told us that they recover more than 300 tonnes of landfill each year. Much of what they collect are by-products of the materials which those businesses sell, or products which have only been used once.
Scrap received an investment form Key Fund a few years ago to help the shop to develop and Cat explored with Louise what further investment opportunities there might be to help them to grow their impact, especially by providing more opportunities for working in schools.
Then further down the M62 we headed to Slaithwaite to meet Rebecca from Globe Arts. Globe run a growing range of arts education projects for the local community with a focus on reaching out to schools. They moved into a new building which they are renting last Autumn because they had outgrown their previous premises. Rebecca told us that since Christmas their volumes of activity have grown by more than a third.
Globe Arts is one of the first investees from the Norther Impact Fund and are using the finance to renovate the first floor of their building to create studio spaces for local artists, who in turn will then help to run sessions in the workshop space. They drew down their investment in January and work is well underway, and is due to be finished in the next three weeks.