The Trust was formed to develop and manage the Linskill Centre with the aim of turning it into a successful, self-sustaining centre, providing the community with somewhere they can come to learn, relax and engage in activities.
The Trust completed a community asset transfer of the centre in April 2006, agreeing a 30 year peppercorn lease with North Tyneside Council.
Gradually over time, the Trust has invested in the Linskill Centre, securing capital grants and fundraising to improve the facilities at the centre. Also, by securing a five year revenue grant from the Big Lottery Fund, the Trust was able to fund key staffing posts to help develop the activities and services provided by the centre.
The Linskill Centre today is now a thriving community centre with 82,000 visits from the North Tyneside community per year. The Centre has:
20 permanent tenants hiring space within the centre
35 casual user groups who offer activities and classes on a weekly basis
A community cafe open six days a week, providing affordable and healthy food
Linskill Nursery - offering affordable and flexible full day childcare
An events department providing large scale community events in the arts and culture
A community garden providing space for volunteers to grow vegetables and fruit for our cafe
The Trust is nearing 100% financial sustainability by maximising the income generation techniques above and this will allow the organisation to become less grant funded reliant and more financially secure for future generations to benefit from the centre.
The vision of the Linskill Trust is to have a strong identity as a welcoming and vibrant community centre that inspires and supports a wide range of people to access diverse personal and professional opportunities.
The Linskill Trust promotes opportunities for well-being by responding to the needs of individuals and communities in order to enhance the quality of life in North Tyneside.
The Trust’s four strategic aims are:
1. To ensure that the Linskill Centre is the most sustainable and best used community centre in North Tyneside with a strong identity as a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive place.
2. To contribute to the economic and social regeneration and wellbeing of North Tyneside by providing a diverse range of opportunities, activities, services and support which meet local needs and improve the quality of life of local people of all ages.
3. To support the development of forums, networks and partnerships which promote community action and engagement.
4. To share our buildings management and asset transfer skills and experience to ensure other communities can benefit from well run and sustainable facilities.
The Trust’s key work priorities are:
1. The ongoing delivery of activities and services to meet the needs of Centre users and community members. Which is achieved by:
• Providing space within the Centre to [currently] 20 permanent tenants
• Providing space to [currently] 56 casual users, that is, groups and organisations using rooms [usually] on a weekly basis to provide the community with a range of activities.
• Providing other support and services, including: A café; An Ofsted registered Nursery providing affordable flexible childcare; An events department running music, theatre and arts projects; A new heritage project engaging with local schools and organisations; A large hall which regularly serves as a conferences and events facility.
2. Strengthening and developing the Centre by increasing investment readiness and enterprise and trading capability through access to national support programmes such as: Power to Change; Big Potential.
Impact of the Linskill Centre
The Linskill Centre recruited two Newcastle University Students in February 2014 to complete a research study on the impact of the Linskill Centre. Francis Leng and Libby Johnston worked with the community groups and charities at the centre and:
- Consulted with the user groups based within the centre by creating and completing a user satisfaction survey with permanent tenants, casual groups and nursery parents.
- Researched the number of people who are employed and volunteers at the centre, researched the impact of the centre consulting service users where they are from and how often they use our facilities and which services they come for.
- Compiled this data and produced a report to examine the impact of the centre linked to Index of Multiple Deprivation, Health, Employment and other indices.
Key findings and recommendations from the report have been implemented and informed the priority of the Trust’s future development work and capital investment. The report has also had a positive impact with funders, allowing the Trust to apply for major capital investment. A full copy
of the report is available here.
© Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust. Registered Charity No: 1119143. Company Limited by Guarantee: 04827255.