YMCA Reading: Developing and growing
Reading YMCA plays a key role in its local community, helping young and vulnerable people


Reading YMCA (RYMCA) plays a key role in its local community, helping young and vulnerable people through the provision of supported accommodation, and the wider community through the provision of facilities for training and clubs. RYMCA has upgraded most of its estate over the last few years to provide the best possible experience for its users. However, its sports facilities on a site adjacent to the main accommodation building are in need of significant redevelopment. The challenge therefore for the leadership of the YMCA is how to best develop this site to support the commercial development of the organisation while maximising social impact. In the Autumn of 2014 RYMCA came to us to help them with this challenge.

Solution and outcome

We have worked with RYMCA since then to test a number of scenarios, from developing a nursery and fitness centre through to building additional social housing. This has involved reviewing RYMCA’s financial standing, building a financial model to give a full account of past performance, as well as forecasting and stress testing future revenues against their growth strategy. To build the growth strategy we: assessed the market, developed different growth scenarios and built a new business plan. We created an investor pack (in which we also assessed RYMCA’s social impact) and, using our network, have begun early conversations with appropriate investors. In addition, RYMCA has secured an initial tranche of funding from Reading Borough Council for its nursery provision, with follow-on funding soon to be declared. Baxendale continues to work with RYMCA on this project.

“We have found Baxendale’s support in developing the business plan, breadth of in-house specialist investment expertise and responsiveness to our need indispensable.” – Russell Martin, Chief Executive

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