Places for People launches social enterprise pilot scheme in Edinburgh

Places for People has launched a new pilot scheme to help charities and social enterprises establish themselves in local communities in Edinburgh.

The pilot #SocialSpace initiative will also run in Milton Keynes and Leicester, offering local causes a package to help their organisations grow.

Organisations will be offered premium commercial space on flexible and achievable rates, as well as development advice, training, and mentoring via the Places for People team.

The group is now accepting applications from local good causes in the three pilot areas, offering minimum one-year leases to help secure and establish the ventures.

All of the high-quality spaces are for flexible use classes - meaning they’re available to a broad range of organisations. In Milton Keynes, the units are located within Brooklands Square, the vibrant commercial hub at the heart of the Brooklands regeneration community; successful applicants would operate adjacent to a newly launched gym, Sainsbury’s convenience store, Domino’s Pizza and the local high school, as well as being surrounded by a community of thousands of new homes.

In Leicester, spaces are available in The Circle building in the centre of the city, with commercial units that overlook a central, bustling piazza. Urban Eden meanwhile is located just 10 minutes from the heart of Edinburgh, offering a brilliant commercial opportunity for charities in and around the Scottish capital.

Marcus Hulme, director of Places Impact at Places for People, said: “Our business has generated more than £280m in social value this past year, a testament to our commitment in the communities in which we work.

“We have made plans to extend our work further this summer, by offering our assets and expertise to help great causes establish and embed themselves within active and growing communities. We hope that eligible organisations in Milton Keynes and Leicester – such as social enterprises, charities, or a local volunteer group looking for a centre to run their activities from – will come forward and take advantage of the initiative.”

The group is in talks with network organisations to evolve the scheme into a more formal national offering.

Mr Hulme added: “We hope that it is a great success and that we can soon roll it out in other neighbourhoods across the country.”

Recent similar initiatives include offering space to social enterprises at the Eastwick and Sweetwater development; the company also completed a series of DIY SOS style projects to help transform community centres in cities such as Edinburgh and Sheffield.

Anyone wishing to apply for the #SocialSpace scheme should visit #SocialSpace and email with their completed application; the deadline for the submission of applications is 28th May, with the commercial spaces in Milton Keynes, Edinburgh and Leicester available to move into from July.

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