Case Studies

Helensburgh Art Hub

The Helensburgh Art Hub was founded by Karlyn Marshall, providing art classes, workshops, exhibitions and events to the residents of Helensburgh and surrounding areas.

Our purpose

The vision of Helensburgh Art Hub is for local residents to achieve their full potential by providing creative opportunities which benefit their mental health and well-being, social development, self-esteem and create a sense of belonging. 

We run a range of workshops direct to the public, through partner organisations and our newly formed peer-led membership.

We have an art gallery and shop, supporting local artists and providing a creative space for our community.

At our core, the business is about making a difference in people’s lives. The social enterprise business model enabled this to be our focus. We have a board with a range of different skills but all focused on bringing the benefits of creative connections.

Helensburgh Art Hub
Karlyn Marshall at Helensburgh Art Hub

How we got started

Initially, with just an idea of what I wanted to do; I attended a useful start-up Just Enterprise workshop with Brian McMillan from Firstport. This, and subsequent calls and meetings, helped me decide on the right legal framework and business structure for us and prepared us for setting up our board. In March 2019, Helensburgh Art Hub was formed as a Company Limited by Guarantee. The board has developed over time. Our current board is a great mix of people with a range of skills and backgrounds including business, third sector and creativity.

Our funding journey

Start-up support prepared us for applying for Firstport funding on three occasions, and we were successful for Start It, Build It and Boost It. Start It funding helped get the enterprise off the ground. Build It enabled me to focus on the enterprise full time and Boost It is currently enabling us to grow the business.

Firstport and start-up support through Just Enterprise have given us a huge amount of advice and positivity over the last five years. The Firstport funding process is straightforward, and support is available along the way.

Image of two people painting at Helensburgh Art Hub

Do you have any advice for other budding social entrepreneurs thinking of applying to Firstport?

We would recommend Firstport’s support to anyone. Just get in touch and be ready to discuss ideas. Helensburgh Art Hub wouldn’t exist now in its current guise without their support!

What’s next on the horizon for Helensburgh Art Hub?

Moving into 2024, the focus of Helensburgh Art Hub is growing our peer-led membership, working on making a real and demonstrable impact on the mental well-being of our community, and enjoying fun creative activities along the way!

Follow Helensburgh Art Hub on their website or on Facebook to find out about their latest workshops and events.