Finance: Social enterprise centre is unveiled

A 'social enterprise centre' has opened in North Shields to serve the needs of non-profit organisations across the Tyneside region.

The centre, set up by the co-operative ComEcon, provides facilities such as office and meeting spaces, a training room, hot-desking and internet access. Three organisations are already in residence at the centre.

A six-month refurbishment transformed the building into the working centre. It was funded by Business Link Tyne and Wear, TyneWear Partnership and North Tyneside@Work.

Formally opening the building, Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell said: "There is a growing recognition that social enterprises are an important way forward. We see them as a significant way of delivering what we believe in: social inclusion, developing skills, regenerating local communities and reforming public services."

Meanwhile, Social Enterprise London has launched the first directory of social enterprises in London. Some 220 organisations are listed so far, including those working in community transport, recycling, leisure, catering, childcare, design and print, and the law.

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Social Enterprise London, said: "We need to be clear with decision makers that social enterprise is the only business model that offers a solution to some of the toughest market challenges."

KEY POINTS

- New social enterprise centre established for the North East by the co-operative ComEcon

- MP claims social enterprises are key to reform of public services

- Social Enterprise London launches first ever directory of social enterprises in the capital

- 220 organisations listed, including transport, recycling and childcare groups.

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