Southport Reporter - You local online newspaper for Merseyside and the Liverpool City Region.

  .Sign up to get our FREE email news bulletins.  


News Report Page 8 of 15
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 2.

How a £1m investment created dozens of jobs, attracted £10.5m extra funding and transformed communities

COMMUNITY businesses in the Liverpool City Region are bucking the national high street trend and creating dozens of new local jobs after receiving funding, from Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Combined Authority (CA).

Mayor Rotheram has hailed the transformative effect of his Kindred programme as new figures show that its 1st £1m of investments generated 77 new jobs and attracted £10.5m of additional funding.

Backed by £5.5m from the CA and £1m from Power to Change, Kindred was established to support socially trading organisations (STOs) that set out to deliver benefits to the areas in which they operate.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "Socially trading businesses play a unique and vital role in the local communities they operate in and I'm incredibly proud that our area is a powerhouse of principled, community-focused business. Their positive impact can be felt right across the Region, accounting for nearly 10% of all jobs and add a whopping £3bn to our local economy. The very essence of devolution is taking power away from the centre; I didn't want to wrestle decision making away from Whitehall only to hoard it in my offices. That is what Kindred is all about: working with community businesses to design and develop a programme that would help them deliver on their potential. Owned and managed by the sector, it's already making good on our investment by creating good, local jobs and attracting nearly ten times its funding into the area. It has made a fantastic start and I'm sure will only go from strength to strength, which will only continue to benefit local people and communities."

Kindred invested its 1st £1m in 20 STOs, also known as community businesses, across the City Region in spring 2021.

The evaluation found that, collectively, the 20 STOs nearly doubled their number of employees from:- 81 to 158.

Their combined turnover also doubled from:- £1.88m to £3.76m, and they attracted a further £10.5m of additional investment.

Investment in five STOs in Birkenhead created a cluster effect that is helping transform the Town.

The socially trading sector employs 50,000 people, 1 in 10 of the City Region's workforce, with 1,300 STOs generating £2.9bn per year for the City Region economy.

Birkenhead has become an outstanding example of the impact of socially trading organisations, with a cluster of community businesses helping to transform the town.

STOs in Birkenhead were awarded £12,000 in development awards in a pre-Kindred pilot in 2017. 4 years later, in spring 2021, 5 Birkenhead based STOs; Make Hamilton, Future Yard, Open Door Centre, Hype Merseyside, and Grow Wellbeing; collectively received 20% of Kindred's 1st round investment, around £200,000.

Those 5 STOs have since created 50 new jobs in the Town, increased their turnover by £1.3m and attracted £9.4m in additional funds.

Their impact, alongside other Birkenhead based STOs, has created a cluster effect that helps support the small business ecosystem, improves people's lives and helps create a vibrant sense of place. Clustering sees other businesses attracted to an area by the growing activity there. For instance, in Birkenhead, a bakery and pottery have moved to the area. The impact of the cluster effect is exponential.

Cllr Janette Williamson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economy and the Third Sector, and Leader of Wirral Council, said:- "The socially trading sector plays a vital role in our economy and is something that we are rightly proud of as a City Region. That's why we were so keen to back the creation of Kindred and why it is so heartening to see this evaluation of their 1st investment. The figures spell out just how productive the investment has been, in terms of creating jobs and attracting investment into our communities. And the impact on Birkenhead shows how creating a cluster of social businesses multiplies the impact of any support, reviving the entire area."

Jennifer Van Der Merwe, Kindred's director, says:- "If this growth continues, Birkenhead is on the verge of becoming a high-growth cluster. But it's growth that creates social good; not just profit. Much of the funding these STOs have attracted since their Kindred investment is from the Towns Deal, which shows that national Government has noticed the emerging potential of social businesses in Birkenhead. It is also now investing in this entrepreneur-led high growth cluster of socially trading organisations."

Traditional skills training for Southport's Cerkasins

A young man who started as a props assistant with Southport Pleasureland was sponsored by the park to learn traditional signwriting skills. Richard Cerkasins successfully completed the professional-grade signwriting course with 1 of the industry greats, Joby Carter, at his studio, in Berkshire. There Richard, part of Pleasureland's technical team, studied with Joby, a master of traditional fairground artwork and lettering.

Joby started his career with an apprenticeship with master craftsman Stan Wilkinson; part of a 4th generation signwriting line. Joby has more than 30 years' experience of restoring vintage rides and attractions, and is acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on signwriting, fancy lettering and fairground art.

Pleasureland CEO, Norman Wallis, is committed to equipping his team with the best skills, skills that are relevant to advanced technology rides and skills that preserve and celebrate the history of amusement parks.

Norman Wallis said:- "The park invests in its people. It's important to us to maintain high standards of professionalism and some of the skills we need to call upon are traditional and require a genuine understanding of age old techniques. Richard did very well, and we look forward to seeing more of his artwork around the park."

Richard said:- "It was a really excellent course. I have been working on signage and other props for the park for a while now but have generally used a projector and tracing when it comes to detailed lettering. Now, thanks to this course, I've learnt how to do lettering freehand and in all sorts of different styles. I even learnt how to use a mahlstick* which signwriters use to aid balance and keep their fingers away from wet paint. I'm already putting what I learnt into practice in the park, creating theming and signs for the new land that's launching this year."

Joby Carter is also custodian of one of the world's largest working collections of traditional signwriting, lining, fancy lettering and traditional fairground decoration.

* Mahlstick: A mahlstick is used to balance the signwriter's hand and keep it off the artwork while working on the piece. The soft rounded end, usually padded chamois or rubber tipped, is always placed outside the work, away from any wet paint, whist allowing the freedom to administer brushstrokes.

Back Next
News Report Audio Copy

This Edition's Main Sponsor:- Holistic Realignment

Edition- Holistic Realignment - Your local, fully qualified sports therapist. Call now on:- 07870382109 to book an appointment.



Please support local businesses like:-
The Kings Plaice 

Our live webcams...

This is a live image that reloads every 30 seconds.

An Image from our Southport Webcam above. To see it live, please click on image.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

An Image from our Southport Webcam above. To see it live, please click on image.


Please support local businesses like:-


Click on to find out why the moon changes phases.  
This is the current phase of the moon. For more lunar related information, please click on here.

Disability Confident - Committed


Find out whats on in and around Merseyside!

This is just 1 of the events on our event calendar, click on
here to see lots more!

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the UK Press Regulator.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS the independent monitor for the UK's press.

This is our process:-
Policy - Complaints Procedure - Whistle Blowing Policy

Contact us:-


Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge.
Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

Click on to see our Twitter Feed.   Click on to see our Facebook Page.   This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography. Click on to see our Twitter Feed.

Our News Room Office Address

Southport and Mersey Reporter, 4a Post Office Ave,
Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0US, UK

Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy - Terms & Conditions
  - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.