Shining in Leeds: a capital investment

Lots to catch up on from various travels around the country. On Wednesday, I did a session with some UnLtd Awardees in Leeds (on policy and lobbying as part of our Office of the Third Sector Strategic Partner work), which gave me not only the opportunity to deliver this exciting powerpoint, but also to meet up with the Camberwell Project crowd at the amazing building at Shine.

And what an amazing building it is. Formerly a school in the Harehills part of Leeds, the building was nearly demolished for good at the turn of the millennium but saved by the intervention of Yorkshire Forward (the regional development agency) who put up £1m. Over the past year or so, the building has finally been transformed from a derelict building into high specification offices and conference facilities (and I've watched enough Grand Designs in my time to know high spec). But that was only possible because Camberwell had spent the three previous years getting the money together: £4.5m from public and private sources.

It's a massive achievement and, best of all, the building was busy and in-use with kids running around, office space in use, meeting rooms full and so on. What better place to hold an event in Leeds, or to site yourself as a new social enterprise in that area? I've been a fan of Camberwell since meeting Todd and Chris way back when (and now Chrissie and Dawn as well…), but it was great to personally see the fruits of all their labours, and the scale of their ambition being realised.

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