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Campbeltown is to benefit from a £27,000 grant, to provide staff resource with a focus on rural social enterprise which is part of £1 million of new funding designed to support the growth of social enterprises such as cinemas, community shops, environmental and youth services run for community benefit across Scotland.
The £1 million will help a range of projects for ambitious and growing social entrepreneurs, offering them support to raise private investment.
Campbeltown’s grant will support the creation of a Rural Social Enterprise Hub, to learn from examples of communities delivering a range of enterprise activities and sustaining vital services from across Scotland and delivering learning resources and tools to support those involved.
Aileen Campbell MSP said: ‘Social enterprises are a vital part of our community and economy. They have a distinctive character and often play a role in preserving vital services such as community shops and transport, and creating employment opportunities.
‘The Rural Social Enterprise Hub will bring benefits to the local community and surrounding area in Campbeltown and share knowledge and best practice in social enterprise, both across Scotland and internationally.’
Campbeltown’s Ailsa Clark, development manager for the Rural Social Enterprise Hub, said: ‘This funding will give us the opportunity to learn from the rural experience to inform policy and better understand opportunities to use digital tools to connect rural social enterprises.
‘This recognises the significance of social enterprise in the rural context – with 34 per cent of all Scotland’s social enterprises in rural areas but only 18 per cent of the population, there is much to be learned.’
Ailsa Clark is from the charitable enterprise Inspiralba, based in Campbeltown, which is working with partners from Finland, Estonia, Romania and Germany on the Village Social Enterprise Network Erasmus project, aiming to enhance the ideas and methods to promote and support social enterprise in rural areas. The Rural Social Enterprise Hub will be able to extend this work to share learning from across Scotland.
A total of 17 grants to social enterprises have been announced, including Brand for Growth programme, an opportunity for leading social enterprises to develop and grow their brand to increase their customers and trade opportunities and Launch Me a programme for ambitious and growing social entrepreneurs, offering them support in raising private investment.
Ailsa Clark, left, from Inspiralba, met with Aileen Campbell MSP in Campbeltown last week. KC_c36campbell03