Business Charity Awards: Charity Partnership - Small Businesses - Winner: Camden Town Unlimited with CTU Community Project

For a successful partnership of whatever duration between a business with a turnover of less than £6.5m and a UK charity

Camden Town Unlimited and CTU Community Project
Camden Town Unlimited and CTU Community Project

What is the partnership?

Camden Town Unlimited is a company that has been appointed by the local business community to improve Camden Town in north London by providing shops, workspaces, loans and support to local residents to help regenerate failing commercial spaces. The CTU Community Project is the charitable arm of the business.

What did it do?

The partners have developed the Collective initiative, which takes on the leases of office and retail units and provides business start-up hubs, event spaces and skills training to local people for free. Through its accelerator programme, it also provided interest-free loans of up to £10,000 to start-ups and provided "creative hubs", which included anything from pop-up offices to shops and marketplaces, as well as support ranging from business to software. CTU has committed more than 30 per cent of its annual revenue to the project, providing £200,000 so far.

Why did it win?

The project has had a real impact on the local area. Since 2010, more than 120 businesses have started, creating 30 new jobs lasting more than six months. Its co-working office spaces now provide desk space for more than 150 people and the four pop-up shops have hosted more than 100 enterprises in sectors that range from fashion and art to music and live performance.

What did the judges say?

John Broadfoot, chief executive of SOS Kit Aid, said: "It is a brilliant idea to re-use brownfield sites and tackle social issues at the same time."

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