Client Story

Level Up Academy

  • Location: Leeds
  • Sector: Leisure Tourism and Sport Physical Health
  • Amount: £36k
  • Purpose: Equipment Costs
Read More Get in touch

Meet Louie, aged 11
“For me it’s not just the sport, it’s got me more confident about myself. I feel better in my body. I’ve started teaching some people in my school. I inspired them to do it.”

Key Fund helped Level Up Academy set up with a £24K investment allowing them to design and build bespoke equipment.


Formed in 2014, Level Up Academy delivers Parkour, Cheerleading, Circus Skills and Martial Arts. Equipped with a full-size sprung floor – one of just a few in the UK for Parkour.

Operating in one of the most deprived areas of Leeds, it’s important that costs are low, and no kit or expensive equipment is required to take part.

The Challenge

After coaching Parkour for six years Jim realised there was a lack of teachers as a new sport. Coaching was crucial – as for any sport. After becoming accredited with the national governing body, he recognised other marginalised sports also deserved the right equipment and facilities; sports often looked down on by the mainstream, such as Parkour.

The Solution

Key Fund helped Level Up Academy set up with a £24K investment which allowed them to design and build bespoke equipment, including a sprung floor. But, problems with the building plagued every step, resulting in an additional £12K bill from the landlord, which Key Fund also stepped in to fund.

Today, they have 1,800 people on the register, with on average 2,300 a week taking part, alongside a growing monthly membership scheme. Level Up has recently started awarding Parkour black bands, the highest level award.

“We set the standard high and never wavered on it – it’s something that’s a real achievement.” – Jim

Students help mentor the younger classes as assistant coaches and role models for the younger children, which generates real respect and ambition.

Appealing to those not engaged with other sport, many parents say how much their child has changed since training with Level Up, as they grow in confidence and self-esteem.

“The community we’ve built around this is growing from strength to strength” – Jim

The Feedback

“Without the Key Fund we’d probably have shut our doors after the security problem because we wouldn’t have been able to pay the rent. Key Fund went above and beyond, helping us secure a National Lottery grant, that was only given to us based on the match funding. They’re very understanding of what we do.” – Jim, Level Up Academy

Start your journey

Skip to content