In celebration of the first ever UK Social Saturday this weekend, each day this week we are running a series of case studies to showcase different social enterprises operating in Leicester.
Social Saturday is a new campaign to drive awareness of social enterprise and the impact that they have on the community around them.
Today’s study is of Leicester Community Music Project, which supports local people through music and the arts.
Local business Leicester Community Music Project (LCMP) benefited from the WISE project through expert advice and guidance from CASE business advisers Dorothy Francis and Jane Avery. Dorothy and Jane supported the members of LCMP to write a business plan to raise finance from investors to establish their business and refurbish a community music venue. The building that the social enterprise is based in on Charles Street in Leicester city centre had been vacant for 10 years. LCMP raised money to renovate the business and used their own labour and that of friends and supporters to transform the near derelict building. After substantial renovation LCMP’s new premises, known as the HQ, houses a recording studio, office space, an art supplies outlet and a large art gallery and is providing a valuable service to local people with the visual arts area with the exhibition space in use constantly by local companies and artists.
Martin Keenan, company secretary, said: “The WISE project is a great help, and without their support I don’t think we could have gone ahead with opening the HQ in July 2012. We are particularly pleased with the art gallery which is designed to be a self-sufficient cost centre within the overall business that will attract more people to the building and increase awareness of our co-operative and the work we do.
“LCMP has a very strong social purpose. We help people to turn their lives around. People who have been on our courses have progressed into work that they are passionate about or have gone into full-time training or continued to work with us. The WISE programme is important to us as it supports us to support others”
Social Saturday takes place on Saturday 13th September 2014. Choose Social Saturday as your day to buy from a local business that puts people and planet first. Visit www.socialsaturday.org.uk for more information.