Lifeline for the Linskill Centre

Lifeline for the Linskill Centre

Sharon McKee

Jun 30 2020

We’re delighted to have been able to support Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust, an important community facility, with flexible funding to help them through the challenges caused by COVID-19.

The Trust runs the Linskill Centre in North Shields, which has become a financially self-sustaining community hub, earning income through room rental, café, offices, a children’s nursery and events.  The popular centre welcomes around 160,000 visitors each year but had to temporarily close its doors on 23 March due to the lockdown.

The impact on the centre was immediate, with three quarters of staff furloughed, although some outreach activities and keeping the nursery open for key worker’s children have carried on.

The Trust has now been awarded £100,000 from the North East Social Investment Fund, managed by Northstar, to help with working capital to support the Centre until government funding is available or income generating activities resume.

Simeon Ripley, Linskill CEO said, “We went overnight from being a successful self-sustaining centre to one with almost no income. While government support may be available it is not immediate and given that we still have running costs and overheads to pay it was a huge concern.  Northstar Ventures has supported us in the past and when we approached them we were delighted with the helpful and flexible agreement for further funding from the North East Social Investment Fund. This will help secure the survival of the centre and buy us time while we work out what the future is going to look like.”

Julie Wake, Northstar Ventures Investment Manager, said, “We have been supporting the Trust and Linskill Centre and know how much of a valuable asset to the community they are. Charities like this that have become self-supporting by generating income have been hard hit by the Coronavirus lockdown and understandably need immediate help to make sure they still exist when activities can start again. We are able to be flexible and help meet the needs with the kind of social investment and support we offer, and will do all we can throughout this period and beyond to help.”

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