A social enterprise which overcame the Boxing Day floods on Kirkstall Road has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.
Seagulls Paint began life 12 years ago around a kitchen table in Burley – but this week was nominated for a national Social Enterprise Award, and its co-founders will be attending a plush awards dinner in London next month.
The business, which sells recycled and remixed paint that would otherwise be thrown away, was nominated in the Environmental Social Enterprise category.
It’s a remarkable success story for a business that found itself under several feet of water just eight months ago when the River Aire broke its banks.
Founders Cat Pearson and Kate Moree are overjoyed by the award nomination. Cat said:
“We’re really delighted. We’ve been going a long time now and it’s good to get national recognition for our work. We’re very excited to go to London for the ceremony, which will raise our profile and be a useful networking opportunity as well.
“Not only is it good for us, it’s great that Leeds gets some recognition as a city.
“Leeds City Council’s waste department has been brilliant – without their support and lateral thinking we wouldn’t have got where we are today.”
To date Seagulls has saved saved and reused more than 740 tonnes of paint, which would otherwise have been treated as ‘waste’. It also employs 15 people and is supported by a group of about 40 committed and passionate volunteers.
Nick Temple is Deputy CEO at Social Enterprise UK, the UK body for businesses with a social or environmental mission. He said:
“The quality and volume of applications was overwhelming. The shortlisting has been incredibly difficult, and there are a number of organisations who narrowly missed out, due to the strength of others in their category.
“Congratulations to all of those who have been shortlisted, it is a fantastic reflection of the UK social enterprise sector. Winners from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be added to the shortlist when their winners have been announced.”
The Social Enterprise Awards recognise organisations for their business excellence and contribution to society, as well as the achievements of people working at the heart of the social enterprise sector. The full awards shortlist can be found here.