Benarty Regeneration Action Group (BRAG Enterprises)
BRAG Enterprises was founded in the late 1980`s by a group of community activists in the former coalfield areas of central Fife. The initiative was a direct response from the community to the social and economic impact of the demise of the coal industry on the communities of Benarty, Kelty, Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly. Initially, BRAG focused on providing training for local people coming out of the mining industry but, after securing the former Crosshill Primary School from Fife Council, expanded their provision to include a local Business Centre, housing a number of local private businesses.
The organisation quickly became a Charitable Company Limited by guarantee and has been successful in securing funding support from Fife Council, the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, the Coalfields Regeneration as well as generating a significant income as landlord of a thriving Business Centre.
The services now provided by BRAG include:
Brag offers a range of IT courses as well as jointly managing the Voluntary Sector option for the New Deal in Fife in partnership with CVS Fife. In addition, an Internet Café has been opened in the Crosshill Centre that currently has over 300 members, half of whom are under 18. From the end of April, BRAG will be running a Fife School for Social Entrepreneurs with 12 places for local people. The programme is based on the London model and will be only the second such programme run in Scotland.
As well as operating from the Crosshill Business Centre, BRAG has also secured further premises in Lochgelly. Over ten private businesses rent space within these premises providing a stream of income that allows BRAG to re-invest into the local community. As well as acting as a landlord, BRAG also provides an admin/accounting support service to these businesses. Amongst the local businesses operating from the Centres are a Mortgage Consultant, a private Nursery, a Tanning Studio, a Masseuse, a Building Company as well being the headquarters for a Stuntman who performs at shows throughout Europe!
One of BRAG`s most significant achievements has been the development and support to community businesses in the area. Senscot will be providing more in depth profiles on these projects over the coming months. BRAG has been instrumental in setting up these businesses, providing training and advice, giving assistance in securing start-up funding and offering an ongoing admin/accounting service. The businesses include a Landscaping business, a self-build/construction project, a community transport initiative as well as the only community run Call Centre in Scotland.
A recent Social Audit identified that BRAG and its associated companies were generating a turnover of approximately £2m within the local economy. This level of activity was responsible for creating and sustaining almost 150 local jobs.
For more information, contact:
BRAG Enterprises Ltd
Crosshill Business Centre
Tel: 01592 – 860296
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