Operation new nest!

by Seagulls Paint in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

We did it
On 27th May 2024 we successfully raised £8,459 with 111 supporters in 28 days

The bulldozers are coming so we need to move. Thankfully we have found a new home but we need some help.

by Seagulls Paint in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

If we can raise a little more than our target it means we don;t have to dip into our small pot of reserves. Every penny counts and every penny will be spent on ensuring we have a smooth, safe and unwasteful transition.


We are team Seagulls, a mix of staff and volunteers from lots of different backgrounds coming together to do what we can for the environment and social justice. By collecting and reusing unwanted household paint we 

a) divert over 156,600 of litres of good paint away from landfill each year 

b) provide an affordable option for people to decorate their home 

and c) provide volunteering, training and job opportunities for marginalised people.

We have been collecting paint since 2005 and have been in our current premises (Aire Place Mills) since 2006.


We have recently compiled figures for last years social value report and the total Social, Environmental and Economic value of Seagulls in 2023 calculates at £934,888.

£267k social impact from volunteering and employing people furthest from employment

£117k economic impact from purchases that would not normally be spent locally

£540k environmental impact from saving waste paint from landfill (CO2 emission saving equivalent to planting 93000 trees).


Seagulls will be 20 years old in October and one of Seagulls Founders, Cat, is still at the helm and guides the social enterprise. She recently received an award for social entrepreneur of the year, Yorkshire and Humber.


At Seagulls we  balance the triple bottom line: planet people and paint with kindness, insight and passion. Cat has a dedicated team around her and from humble kitchen table beginnings, Seagulls continues to be a successful grass roots social enterprise.

In December we were told that our current home (of 18 years) is going to be bulldozed. Not the Christmas news we were expecting, however we dusted ourselves off and began the year home hunting. It became clear very quickly that the type of premises Seagulls needs (messy warehouse) is rare to find on the rental market and we decided that long term we need to realise our dream of either buying or building our own home.


Cat’s obsessive internet searching soon paid off and we were going to look at 129 Water Lane, Holbeck. The building is MASSIVE compared to our current home, at least 3 times the size! This however gives us the opportunity to expand our paint store and community benefits.

The extensive property is not dissimilar to our current home (leaky roof, no heating, rough around the edges) and hence perfect for us Seagulls! We quickly got the owners on side, and they agreed favourable terms for the first year and in fact for the whole tenure. We have now signed the contract and have the keys. The lease is for 5 years and provides the perfect temporary (ish) solution.

We are lucky enough to have a great relationship with our current landlord and we don’t have to rush to move so thankfully we can keep our current home operational until the new building is ready.


Work has begun…

Whilst we wait for a change in planning we are creating our new home. Not going to lie, the sheer vastness of the space is incredibly daunting. However, a bigger floor print gives us lots of opportunity to improve our current operations and create the paint store of our dreams.


There’s a lot to do!

Because this is a temporary move we are trying to think smart:

  • creating shelving etc out of pallets that are cost effective and are easily transportable for our third and final move.
  • Reining ourselves in from pimping the place too much whilst creating Seagulls character.
  • Reusing as much of our old building as possible (we are allowed to strip our current home).
  • We don’t need all of the space for paint and workshops so how can we make it pay whilst providing community benefit.

Shopping list

  • Removals firm
  • Plumber 
  • Electrician 
  • Joiner 
  • Pallets
  • Trolleys and pallet trucks
  • Move and install our old fire alarm system
  • Move and install our CCTV

 What do we need?

A large proportion of the cost is in the people power. Although a lot of people have and are volunteering their time we cannot (and would not) expect independent electricians, plumbers and joiners to work for free.

We will need a large removal company to help move our furniture and workshop structure . This will enable us to keep as much of it as intact as possible to ensure a smooth transition. We will obviously need to rebuild at the other end.

Providing work experience for young folk

We have joined forces with the Skill Mill to help us demolish walls and build the new infrastructure.  The Skill Mill is part of the youth justice team and provides employment opportunities for young people aged between sixteen and eighteen. They work with ex-offenders, actively reducing reoffending whilst increasing engagement, participation, employability and educational levels of the young people to increase their life chances.


We are also working with Forging Futures to offer practical work experience placements on their employment skills course for people aged 17+. We will be offering a 6 week placement for 2- 3 young people to help us build our new facilities and move our old.


Moving forward

Although a move hadn't been in our immediate plans we are planning to embrace the opportunities the new building has to offer:

  • new space = opportunity to assess our current processes
  • more space = better processes to save and sell more paint
  • more space = new opportunities for reuse 
  • more space = new opportunities for community engagement

Thank you for reading our campaign

Moving wasn't an expense we had forecast for this year. As a social enterprise working on tight margins every penny counts in a cost of living crisis. We appreciate that everyone is short of cash at the moment and have been hesitant to release a crowd funder. However many people have said we should and so here we are. 

Investment in Seagulls will mean a swift transition from one place to another, ensuring we don't have to pause the valuable work we do for the environment and community.

In the coming couple of months we will also be looking for people power to help shift a paint store. If you have some time to spare please get in touch. We can pay you in paint and we can guarantee a fun and life affirming experience working with our team!

If a donation or time are not possible then please just spread the word, every interaction helps and we appreciate you having read this far.


We haven't gone overboard when it comes to rewards as we don't have a lot of time and we wanted to keep this campaign simple. We are therefore offering 4 different t shirt designs and a couple of ways to celebrate our painty splashes!


1. Dream Green. We love this saying coined by one of our long term supporters and environmental activist Grace Hills.

2. This is my painting shirt designed by David a Leeds based graphic designer and street artist. Check out David's work on Instagram @AndAtWhatCost

3. per Mission TO PAINT credit for words go to Tori McKay

4. Colour wheel designed by Amy Nield a Leeds based illustrator, mural artist and upcycler. Check out Amy's work @eskhaus on Instagram.

5. Have fun with paint- it's time to get messy! After the move join us in our old original paint store to have a paint party. The building is being bulldozed so we can go wild with paint and let loose our painty inhibitions and have fun with paint on large scale.

6. Create your own paint splattered jeans. When the paint has settled come to our original building, stand in our spray booth and let us blast your trousers and shoes (if you want) in a colour or colours of your choice.


Thanks for reading and we hope you can join us on our journey. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

This is my painting shirt

T shirt designed by graphic designer and Seagulls supporter David from @AndAtWhatCost Black t shirt.

£15 or more

3 of 40 claimed

Seagulls spray booth

Come to Seagulls original building and stand in our waist down spray booth. We will then spray your trousers and shoes (if you wish) with paint from our drills.

£25 or more

Dream Green t shirt

Phrase coined by Community activist Grace Hills. White t shirt

£25 or more


A great phrase and perfect for us cheeky Seagulls! Thanks at Tori Mckay for your words. White t shirt.

£25 or more

Seagulls mural

Colour wheel designed by Amy Nield a Leeds based illustrator, mural artist and upcycler. Check out Amy's work @eskhaus on Instagram. Pale grey t shirt.

£30 or more

2 of 30 claimed

Paint party

When our original paint store has been emptied join us for the best paint party ever. Our building will be bulldozed, we don't need to worry about the next tenants and so we plan to host a paint party and enjoy the freedom of chucking paint around and unleashing our inner paint monsters!

Got an idea like this?

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