The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), together with help from Borough of Poole's Economic Development team, is supporting a series of exciting NEW Social Enterprise Schemes with the announcement of a five-year funding loan of £775,000 to BCHA.
The former Alder Hills factory is being transformed into a hub of innovative Social Enterprise Schemes by Sequal Solutions, BCHA's social enterprise arm.
Having lain empty since Remploy closed its doors in 2012, the renovation has now begun and completion is due in Autumn 2014. The centre will create employment and learning opportunities. It will encourage local people to get involved with a diverse variety of initiatives, from a training and skills academy, upcycling pre-loved furniture and bicycles, to gaining catering qualifications at its onsite café using local home grown produce.
Dorset LEP is keen to support the social enterprise centre as it will provide excellent skills training for local people leading to an increase in job opportunities in a range of sectors across the county.
Gordon Page, Chair of the Dorset LEP Board, said: "Dorset LEP is delighted to be supporting this exciting and innovative initiative. We support social enterprises and want to see them thrive whilst creating more jobs and growth for Dorset. This is good news for everyone."
Martin Hancock, Chief Executive of BCHA, commented: "We are very grateful to Dorset LEP for providing us with this funding to enable us to purchase and transform the old Remploy factory, bringing a former social enterprise site back to life.
"This Social Enterprise Centre will provide a vital resource for the local community. Not only will it create more jobs, it will also provide many opportunities for the people of Poole and Bournemouth and Dorset to learn new skills and achieve qualifications, helping them to gain employment.
"We are pleased to be in a position to improve and engage communities to a more sustainable lifestyle, and are delighted that Dorset LEP share our vision and commitment to re-investing back in to the community."