Celebrating five years of Link Learning
The brainchild of musicians Sam Richardson and Zebedee Budworth, Link Learning, based in Sheffield’s Electric Works, is on a mission to support children to learn, grow and express themselves through music, art and performance. Working with the very best teachers and creatives, Link Learning develop innovative partnerships with schools, community groups, childcare providers and health and wellbeing organisations, to bring bespoke creative courses and opportunities to young people. They believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop and express their creativity.
Before founding Link Learning, Sam and Zeb sought out support to transition their creative ideas into a scalable business, attending a Prince’s Trust course aimed at pre-start entrepreneurs. The two first met in 2017 and had bonded over a shared love of music and Sheffield’s eclectic scene. At the time, Zeb was rigging for major events as well as gigging with his band, and Sam was looking for his next role and an opportunity to combine his passion for music with a long-term career. The Prince’s Trust course helped the duo develop their ideas and grow in confidence. In 2018 Link Learning incorporated in their home city of Sheffield and the business has already grown into four more major northern cities, with plans to expand further in the coming years.
On a mission to set up a scalable business from an accessible and vibrant location, Sam and Zeb moved from their early base in Electric Works’ co-working club, into their private office in March 2022. Determined not to let the Covid lockdowns stop them in their tracks, the team shifted a lot of their face-to-face content to digital resources over 2020 and 2021, and worked hard to maintain the customer relationships and reputation they’d already invested in through those start-up years.
Now Link Learning has a dedicated team of 6 people and more than 70 creative practitioners in their network delivering music lessons and creative content to more than 1000 clients. To accommodate their growth and support their transition into new markets, the team recently opened a second office in Broomhill. This satellite office has become the base for a growing number of community-focussed projects and the launchpad for their Community Interest Company spin-out.
Link Learning HQ is located on the second floor of city-centre-based Electric Works. An office-come-music-studio, their workspace is the engine room to Link Learning and you're as likely to find a book of poetry or spare set of guitar strings on the shelves as you are an accounts package or project planner. Link Learning co-founder, Sam, explains why Electric Works was their workspace of choice: “We looked at quite a few spaces in Sheffield when we started the business. We needed a flexible office, something that could grow with us. 24-hour access was essential because there are times when we have to work late into the night - you never know when the creative penny is going to drop, and starting and growing a business is definitely not a 9-5 job! This place is really central, easy to get to and it’s secure. The centre team here are super friendly and there is plenty of additional space for events, training and meetings - we’ve even run music workshops from the conference room! It has everything we need.”
As Link Learning look to the future, the team are growing new networks across the north of England, working with more creative practitioners and investing in their central staff team. You can follow their journey on insta and facebook, and connect with us to learn more about our #electric business community here.