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Take a look at the new home of Seagulls Reuse

Paint reprocessing specialist, Seagulls Reuse, has completed its move from Kirkstall Road to 129 Water Lane in Holbeck. 

Seagulls recycles, mixes and sells paint as well as running a series of creative workshops close to the city centre in its new 31,150 sq ft warehouse.

Cat Hyde, co-founder of Seagulls, explains: “We’d love to have the capacity to collect leftover trade paint but, at the moment, we have enough paint from Leeds households to meet our customers’ needs. But we are hopeful that this new city centre location in the fast-growing Temple district will hopefully entice new painters through the door enabling further expansion.

“So this is a plea to people across the city to pop in and see significant savings on quality paint, varnish and timber care. Whether painting your home, office, community centre, shed or garden furniture – we have something for everyone no matter the colour.

“The new space will also enable us to expand the range of workshops we run, from beginners decorating courses, to mosaics, murals and terrazzo, we will also have decorating pods available for hire.”

Seagulls Reuse launched in 2005. It is the brainchild of Cat Hyde and her co-founder. Keen to find new pathways into employment, with a shared passion for environmental sustainability they wanted to create a social enterprise that would benefit their community. They engaged with Leeds City Council and agreed to collect and reuse paint disposed at the nine Household Waste Recycling Centres across the city.

They now divert almost 400 tonnes of reusable paint each year, checking and reprocessing it for resale. Bespoke colours are mixed and matched by the team and its helpful volunteers before being resold from as little as £1 per tin. 

The process is labour intensive and has provided an opportunity for employment, volunteering and training. Ruksar Ajmal started as a volunteer with Seagulls Reuse when leaving prison in 2007. A colour-blind paint mixer, he now works full-time helping to train other volunteers and decorators, assisting customers and managing the bespoke paint-mixing service.

Ruksar said: “Seagulls Reuse is a vibrant and vital environmental social enterprise. It has been life changing for me, and many others. In the last 17 years, I’ve learnt many skills and am now expert at creating bespoke paint colours by and using a spatula and paddle drill along with a splash of intuition and creativity!

“I love training our new volunteers from all walks of life. Many have been through struggles similar to mine and I’m keen to pass the support I’ve been given onto others who need it. We offer a fantastic community service and look forward to welcoming many more happy customers through our doors as we make the exciting move to Temple.”

Seagulls Reuse will be the neighbour in the Temple District of theatre company Slung Low, which developers CEG welcomed to Water Lane last year.

CEG continues to commit to social enterprises and, following the support from Historic England enabling crucial repairs to the roof and walls of the Counting House to make it watertight prior to its refurbishment has now opened this vital building at Temple Works as a second home for Forging Futures Campus.

CEG launched Forging Futures Campus at Kirkstall Forge and delivers construction skills, employability, heritage, sustainability and innovation education and training. This, together with partners The Skill Mill and Icon Group has delivered £11million in social value, creating pathways for local people into employment, further education and apprenticeships.

Antonia Martin-Wright, Director of Commercial Development at CEG, said: “It is fantastic to welcome Seagulls to Water Lane. They join Slung Low and our new Forging Futures training and skills campus at Temple and share many of our values, both in terms of environmental sustainability and the importance of social enterprise. We wish them every success in their new city centre home. “

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