The Camberwell Project, which drives social enterprise, has secured a groundbreaking £4.5m funding package – including LEGI money – for a landmark regeneration project in one of the UK’s most deprived neighbourhoods.
The backing will transform the former Harehills Middle School into a 36,000 sq ft Enterprise Centre housing private and social enterprises as well as providing an innovative “pay-as-you-go” start-up business hub. The centre will advise and support new businesses seeking to attract more investment and employ more people. It will also provide conferencing facilities, restaurant and a crèche.
The private and public sector funding package comprises £2m in loans from Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank’s specialist public sector team through its West Yorkshire Business Centre and Venturesome. This joins with £1.45m from Leeds’ Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) Sharing the Success programme, and £700,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Camberwell Project director Alan Wallace said: “This development is special in a number of ways: it brings back into use a derelict but listed building in a poor area, has a focus on social enterprise and a commitment to being a positive asset for the community. Sourcing and securing funding for such a unique venture has been a complex and challenging process and is testament to our partners’ imaginative approach to the project.”