Sustainable Social Enterprises - Creating Jobs And Improving Services
The Ceredigion Social Enterprise Growth Fund has continued to create jobs, facilities and services in the County in its latest round of grant awards. The fund is administered by Ceredigion County Council on behalf of the Sustainable Futures Executive Group and supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Assembly Government under the Convergence Programme for West Wales and the Valleys. The 2013 grants round approved five awards that will create six jobs to add to the 25 already created through the scheme.
2013 will see Telynau Teifi, at the Welsh Harp Centre, based in Llandysul, developing a concert harp to add to the range of Welsh harps produced and distributed from the old school house looking over Llandysul Town. Telynau Teifi's project will also help the production of the whole range of harps by renovating unused space in the building and providing more storage and salesroom space, and creating two new jobs.
Two of the projects supported in 2013 involve major building refurbishment to minimise energy usage and create a better environment for building users:
Transition Llambed will use their grant to improve services and facilities at Victoria Hall in Lampeter to enable the hall to be used and enjoyed by a wider cross section of the local community, generating income and promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.
Aberaeron Community Swimming Pool will use the funds towards phase one of an ambitious three phase project to improve facilities and extend services at the pool in order to increase sustainability, ensure long term viability, and safeguard nine jobs
Long Wood Community Woodland secured funds to help with an eco-build visitor centre and office facility for the community woodland just outside Lampeter. The straw-bale and timber building will house two new officers to help manage the woodland and provide a base for planned new small scale enterprises within the wood as well as a visitor centre with space for education and community activities.
Continuing with the Environmental theme, Gwersyll Yr Urdd, Llangrannog has received an award, to develop a series of environmental educational activities based in and around the Centre, and employ a Sustainability Officer to help increase knowledge and promote good practice in the main environmental issues facing West Wales, as well as reducing the environmental impact of the centre itself.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet member for Economic Development, Community Development, Leisure and Culture,commented, "A social enterprise is a business with social aims that reinvests any profits into the business or into the communities it serves. Ceredigion has an incredibly strong social enterprise sector, making a significant contribution to the area's economy with businesses in the areas of: arts, manufacturing, community, environment, tourism, education and services all represented and thriving. The Council know of around 80 Social Enterprises operating in the County, employing over 500 people. The Ceredigion Social Enterprise Growth Fund is providing a key part of the support these enterprises need in order to grow the services we all rely on and contribute to the communities in which they are based."