Chairman of Banbridge District Council, Councillor Marie Hamilton has welcomed a new initiative aimed at boosting the local economy which launched on Tuesday at the Old Town Hall Banbridge.
The Lurgan based Southern Area Social Enterprise Hub will act as an outreach hub to incubate and stimulate social economy projects in Banbridge and across the Southern area.
As well as providing incubation space for new and developing social enterprises, staff at the new Hub will also offer information, mentoring, training and support to assist local social enterprises to get started and grow.
Mrs Hamilton said, “Initiatives like this can breathe new economic life into the Banbridge area and it is important to spread knowledge and skills among the social economy sector here.
“I wish everyone involved in the Southern Area project the best and look forward to seeing results.”
Derek Browne from Insight Business Consulting explained; “Our social enterprise sector has the potential to create thousands of jobs across and developments like the Southern Area Social Enterprise Hub help embed new social economy projects in our communities.
“The new Hub is based in Lurgan which gives us excellent reach across the Council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry and Mourne,
“At the Banbridge launch we gave information on the programmes we are offering and how interested parties can access support to make sure their business ventures.
“Mentoring on important business aspects like finance, HR, IT and marketing will be included and we have strong backing from the Banbridge District Council.
“If you are interested, get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our website www.southsehub.co.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @SouthSEHub.”
The new Southern Area Social Enterprise Hub is supported by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, under the Delivering Social Change Programme. It is one of 11 spread across Northern Ireland.
This initiative aims to tackle poverty, dereliction and unemployment by encouraging social enterprise business start up within local communities and is funded by the Northern Ireland Executive’s Delivering Social Change fund.
A consortium including Insight Business Consulting, Groundwork NI and North City Enterprise Centre will deliver the Hub programme.