Purpose of investment
Contribute to the installation and and running of a new soft play centre.
Investment package: Making Enterprise Happen
Sector: Employability, Health and Wellbeing
Social outcomes: Citizenship and community
The Gladiator Programme have been operating since 1986, offering a wide range of positive play and physical activities to children and young people across the Greater Glasgow, Inverclyde and Clyde Valley areas. In doing so, they aim to divert young people away from gang or drug related behaviour, providing them with opportunities and tools to improve their confidence and skills, and to make better life choices.
In turn, the local community benefits from more fulfilled young people with greater aspirations and employability.
Despite having an established track record in delivering play and sport services, Gladiator have been restricted in what they can offer due to funding limitations. Their annual income generation has also limited their ability to expand. The directors took the decision to build a children’s soft play facility (“The Fun Factory”) which would operate as a social enterprise with the profits being used to support the continued development of the original play and physical activity services.
In January 2016, Resilient Scotland invested £235k via its Making Enterprise Happen programme to support the new soft play facility. The investment contributed to the installation and running costs of the soft play centre, with the hope that the income generated would be reinvested in delivering Gladiator’s core objectives.
The Gladiator team had hoped to open the new soft play in September 2016, but due to unforeseen problems with the development contract, the Fun Factory didn’t open until spring 2017. This delay meant they missed the important winter trading period in late 2016 / early 2017.
As we now enter this year’s autumn and winter months, the Gladiator team are hopeful that they have turned a corner and the business will soon start to take off.
Ronnie Saez, Director, said” It has been a tricky start for us but things are starting to pick up now. The investment from Resilient Scotland has been important to us and despite our bumpy start, the Resilient team haven’t lost faith in what we are trying to do. Their support has been invaluable, their staff have been approachable and we have been able to look at solutions to help us deal with these initial teething problems.”