A £1 million boost from ‘minding cars’

More than £1 million has been loaned to social enterprises in north Liverpool using money raised from match day car parking. 

 

The car parks are located on council owned sites awaiting redevelopment around Anfield and Goodison Park, helping tackle illegal parking and stopping flytipping and blight on the sites when Liverpool FC and Everton FC are playing.

 

Local residents, including young people and those with mental health challenges, are among those employed part-time to staff the car parks, and business rates is paid on the land.

 

The Beautiful Ideas Company was tasked in 2015 with investing the surplus in to local enterprises in Anfield, County and Kirkdale.

 

It has also levered in further funding, including £375k from the Big Lottery Fund administered Public Sector Launchpad Accelerator.

 

So far, the company has used £483k of the Liverpool car park money and also invested £656k of its social investment from elsewhere across the north west in 25 Liverpool ventures.

 

The schemes being supported are employing 50 full time and 80 part time staff and have brought 60,000 square feet of previously disused industrial space back into use.

 

Examples of success include:

 

• £15k to Airborne Academy – which now attracts 1,300 young people every week to its street running and parkour classes, creating 34 jobs

 

• £30k to Coming Home Liverpool – which help owners of individual empty houses to turn them back into homes again and work with those who want and need homes to find and access them

 

• £30k to Make Liverpool – a ‘maker’ space in the emerging Ten Streets area on the Dock Road where members share tools and equipment to create hand-made goods

 

The Urban Cupcakery, which has benefited from funding

 

Other examples include The Urban Cupcakery – which tackles stigma around mental health by training young people to bake beautiful cakes and meet neighbours, build new relationships and access support, as well as projects involving hospitality/catering, meals on wheels for older people and a community laundry and arts space.

 

More recently, the Beautiful Ideas Company was contracted to deliver OpenMaker, a competition designed to use digital innovation to reverse the decline in traditional manufacturing, and has awarded European funding to five projects which include ideas around sensors and 3D printing.

 

Assistant Mayor and Chair of the Beautiful Ideas Community Interest Company, Councillor Nick Small, said: “A very simple idea, making income from minding cars on match days, has helped create and sustain many jobs in north Liverpool.

 

“It is great to see so many small enterprises run largely by local people to benefit local people succeeding following relatively modest investments.

 

“Together with the work to drive forward Ten Streets and Liverpool Waters and the success we have had regenerating homes and businesses in Anfield, the future is looking brighter than it has for a long time in north Liverpool.”

 

How it works

• Each venture has to have a positive social impact and the potential to become viable

• They don’t have to pay anything back for three years and can either start repaying the loan or pay it back in kind as a social return

• Payment won’t be demanded if it puts jobs or the business at risk and any outstanding loans are written off after 10 years