Painting picture of success: Seagulls Re-use nets new council contract


A West Leeds paint re-use company has been so successful that Leeds City Council has extended a contract with them for a further five years.

Seagulls Reuse, an environmental social enterprise with a large paint store in Kirkstall Road, has gone from strength to strength in the past decade helping to collect and recycle more than 370 tonnes of paint each year in the city, of which half is re-used.

Leeds City Council is renewing and extending a contract with the social enterprise for the collection and re-use of waste paint from collection banks on the council’s eight household waste recycling sites.

seagulls paint Kirkstall Road
Happy Family: Staff and volunteers at Seagulls Paint. Photo: West Leeds Dispatch

Having worked with the council since 2010, the innovative enterprise have been collecting an average of 29 tonnes per month across all the sorting sites.

Once the paint is collected, it is mixed to form new colours before offering it at lower cost to families, organisations and businesses across Leeds. The enterprise offers excellent volunteering opportunities and an avenue for employment.

Cat Hyde, project manager at Seagulls, said:

“We are very proud of the enterprise we have grown from a kitchen table in Burley.

“We divert a vast amount of paint from landfill whilst working with people who are often on the margins of society.

“We work hard to establish Seagulls within our three core aims: Planet, people and profit. Over the years we have established a solid and ground breaking relationship with Leeds City Council to deliver a paint reuse scheme that benefits the whole city.”

Mural making at the pedestrian tunnel under Stanningley Bypass at the Owlcotes Centre last summer. Photo: Courtesy Seagulls Re-Use

The Seagulls Mosaic project has also transformed several underpasses – including the Owlcotes Centre in Pudsey – and garden areas like the Drink and Be Grateful Fountain in Kirkstall into light, bright positive spaces that are valued by the community.

Kirkstall councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive member with responsibility for environment and sustainability, said:

“We are very pleased to be entering into a new five year agreement to continue our partnership with Seagulls for paint re-use.

“Seagulls provide a unique service which addresses environmental priorities by re-using paint that would otherwise be disposed of. The work they do has significant social value through their employment practices, work with local communities and their provision of reduced cost paint and other products to low income residents across Leeds.”

Seagulls recently received the Social Enterprise of the Year award 2017 at the annual Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber Awards in recognition for being national leaders in what they do and demonstrating a track record of delivery, growth and innovation.

They were also shortlisted for Environmental Social Enterprise of The Year UK.

Read more about Seagulls on The Dispatch here.


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