New Start Highland
Work has begun on a £1.2million extension to New Start Highland's Inverness base which will increase its warehouse capacity and provide new services.
A turf-cutting ceremony took place last month at the social enterprise’s headquarters in Carsegate Road North, Inverness by former NSH vice-chairman and retired chief constable of Northern Constabulary Mr Bill Robertson to mark the beginning of the 20 week construction phase, to be carried out by Robertson Highland.
The new building, which was designed by Colin Armstrong Associates, is being funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Highlands and Islands Enterprise, SIF (Scottish Investment Fund) and HHACT (Highland Housing Alliance Charitable Trust).
It will consist of an Enterprise Centre with various sized starter units, offices and meeting spaces along with a large warehousing facility to allow expansion of services as NSH continues to develop to meet the growing needs of the Highland community. Practical support will be available to the organisations in the starter units as they develop.
As New Start’s environmental and training services develop this will facilitate the creation of up to 14 new jobs over the next few years along with increased training and volunteering opportunities.
New Start Highland is a local enterprise which was established 10 years ago to give vulnerable or socially excluded individuals a real opportunity to rebuild and enhance the quality of their lives.
Amongst the services provided by NSH are furniture supply, employment training, painting and decorating, job and housing support.
NSH chief executive James Dunbar started New Start Highland from one employee and a £50,000 first year turnover in 2000, and by 2009 it had grown to employ 50 staff with a turnover of over £1.3 million.
It now has three new Rural Service Centres in Invergordon, Fort William and Kinlochleven and has developed a chain of community shops, providing additional opportunities for people to access quality furniture, diverting over 755 tonnes of furniture from landfill.
He said: “As the recession has taken its toll, demand for New Start services are continually increasing against a backdrop of reduced local authority support. The new build will help to facilitate New Start to reshape in order to continue to meet growing demand.
“People can be written off in our culture because of a set of circumstances or some wrong decisions. Within the right environment and given opportunities, people can achieve significantly more. New Start has been created as being somewhere people can realise their potential.”
For further info`, contact:
New Start Highland
9 Carsegate Road North
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