A skate park has launched an education centre to help disadvantaged young people, with support from one of the UK’s leading investors in social enterprise.
The Works skate park in Leeds is playing a wider philanthropic role after securing three successive years of investments from the Key Fund.
In 2012, social entrepreneur and founder Elliott Turnbull was supported with a grant and loan to cover the expenses for the share purchase of the Leeds-based skate park. He’s received additional investment to support his plan, including the finance to recruit an education manager.
Mr Turnbull decided to move into educational work after his daughter died at birth in 2012.
He said: “The reason I can get out of bed in the morning is because I decided I was in a position to give to other children the opportunity my daughter never got. With Key Fund support we’ve gone from £300,000 to a £1m turnover in two and a half years. They are a key factor in our current growth.”
The facility houses an indoor skate park, a gym, dance and fitness studio, classrooms, a climbing wall and large cafe area. The education centre aims to support young people who have not achieved their potential in mainstream education.
Mr Turnbull said: “I’ve got 25 young people who will all go on to an apprenticeship programme.”
Matt Smith, the deputy chief executive of Key Fund, said: “Our mission is to remove bureaucratic hurdles and open up access to finance for social entrepreneurs, voluntary groups, community organisations and charities in the areas of greatest need. We’re keen to hear from other entrepreneurs with ideas that prioritise people or the planet, as well as profit.”
Key Fund has invested almost £40m in hundreds of businesses which support their local community.