Funding for jobs and to make life better in Plymouth

Around 50 jobs look set to be created across a series of projects that will make life better for residents of all ages in Plymouth.

The Council has awarded £420,000 through the next round of Social Enterprise Investment Fund to schemes that will make a massive difference to hundreds of people across some inspiring projects.

One of the key recipients is Memory Matters South West CIC investment, which has been awarded £80,000 to develop a ‘dementia hub’ in the city centre.

Around 150 people with dementia and their carers have been involved in drawing up ideas for the centre which will be a place where people can pop in to feel at ease and socialise as well as receive advice, information and take part in activities.

The project plans to set up a ‘nostalgia café’ for all to reminisce back to the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. It will be a place where people can receive training as be a centre for visiting therapists and organisations.

Director Kate Smith: “We are delighted to be able to have this opportunity to build this cafe and hub in Plymouth.
It is important that we could speak to potential users and get them to guide us in our plan, so that they are at the very heart of it. We needed to make it a place that’s friendly and not clinical. This fund will help us build and kit the building out.”

Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “This is a really important project for Plymouth as it further strengthens our goal of being a dementia-friendly city.

“A lot of great activities and schemes are running here in Plymouth but this will mean people and their carers will be able to come to one place and access different types of therapies as well as just enjoy stimulating company and activities.”

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Housing added: “These projects give back to the people of Plymouth and we are delighted that we are able to support them. Not only do they play a crucial role in making Plymouth a better and fairer place to live, but they create jobs.

“We are making waves as a Social Enterprise City and are happy invest through loans, support and advice in organisations which grow in Plymouth, create employment and give back to the local community.”

The Barbican Theatre has also been awarded £80,000 towards their Basement project to turn two unused restaurant units in Bilbury St, Bretonside, into rehearsal studios, a stage and costume construction workshop as well as start-up offices with toilets and reception area. This will double the space available to the theatre and the number of people who can get involved. It will include an incubation hub to support new cultural industries jobs and be a permanent base for the theatre’s highly regarded training programmes for young and emerging theatre and dance artists.
Other recipients include
• The Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs – £100,000 for their start-up programme to continue delivering support for Plymouth’s social entrepreneurs and help ventures to grow.
• Credit Union – £100,000 to help reduce reliance on high cost lenders, keep money within the local economy, provide services to financially excluded residents and improve the health and wellbeing of the city
• Camper Obscurer – £28,176 to the social enterprise Fotonow to refit a camper van as a mobile community outreach vehicle. The fund will help to develop a business plan and refit the vehicle
• St Saviours – £13,977 will help fund a number of activities that will bring this wonderful Victorian Sunday School Hall on the Barbican, back to life. The investment will also bring heating to the ground floor, allowing the building to be open, enjoyed, and used by the local community, for longer throughout the year.
• Bread and Roses – £10,000 for business support to build a firm investment base to enable five more jobs to be created at the community pub. The investment will promote stronger community links and sense of involvement.

Plymouth is home to around 150 social enterprise organisations employing an estimated 7,000 people. It covers a huge array of businesses including large organisations such as Plymouth Community Homes and Plymouth University (the worlds’ first university to get the Social Enterprise Mark).

For details of which organisations were awarded funding in the last round visit
Applications for support under the investment fund are assessed under criteria including the number of jobs created, whether the scheme brings empty buildings back to life as well as the potential to lever other funds. Further funding is available this year and launch details will be published in the next few weeks

Successful applicants have accessed legal, finance and business development support specifically designed for social enterprises.