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our people

Spark York C.I.C was founded by Tom McKenzie and Sam Leach in 2016, then, two local 23 year olds. Both founders
remain heavily involved in the project today, alongside a brilliant team. Tom and Sam were awarded Young
Entrepreneurs of the Year in the CITI Microfinance 2019 awards.

Sam Leach

Co-Founder & Finance and Development Director

"Spark is a project that cares deeply about society and in making it better. For me, what makes Spark much more interesting than competitors is in its development of a new financial model that all stakeholders benefit from, most notably our start-up businesses.”

Tom McKenzie

Co-Founder & Managing Director

"We want to support individuals bring their ideas to life by showing the path and equipping them with the necessary skills. We believe creating a buzzing and provocative destination helps create that success."

Julian Pace

Venue Director

"Spark is a place where we all want to grow and develop together. There is a real feel of togetherness and community spirit about all the people that work in the space, everyone wanting to help each other succeed."

Gemma Spivey

General Manager

“Spark is independent, accessible for all ages and walks of life, exists for local people and local produce and is charitable and for the community. Ultimately, it is unique and one of a kind."

Daniel Stringer

Assistant General Manager

"What Spark means to me is community. Sharing and having the same attitudes and interests in Spark is what we all have in common and I really love that we all have a common goal, helping out our community."

Paulina Lewicka

Marketing Coordinator

"I see Spark as a unique place where the boldest of your ideas can come to life, where you can follow your passion, explore your strengths, connect with like-minded people and celebrate your true self."

Emily Youngson

Events Coordinator

"Spark is a vibrant and unique hub of activity, and I personally love the community-led approach that the project takes. With a unique range of traders, activities and events, Spark has something for everyone."

Rhiannon Britton

Digital Marketing Coordinator

"Spark, a vibrant and diverse community, lets me express myself freely among extraordinary and wonderful people who share my values. By working together, we ensure that Spark remains a safe and inclusive space for everyone who walks through our doors."