New enterprise and training centre opens in Loundsley Green.

A new centre has opened in Loundsley Green providing start-up businesses in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire with work spaces, meeting rooms, expert coaching and advice.

‘The Green’ is run by Loundsley Green Community Trust (LGCT) who have been operating the adjacent community centre (previously a church) for over 10 years.

One of the free services being delivered during that time has been an Enterprise Coaching programme, helping people to get back into work through self-employment.

Over the years that has helped over 60 people to start new businesses. Around 3 years ago the Trust looked at the Old Vicarage which was unoccupied for most of the time, and saw in it the potential to grow its support for people looking to get back into work.

The team behind the new business support centre overcame several hurdles before its opening, however the space now includes a large training room, a smaller meeting room, and five individual workspaces for use by new businesses.

Office rents are inclusive of all costs including broadband and two of them are already let: one to a husband and wife business, and the other to local community radio station, Peak Radio.

The downstairs meeting and training spaces have been used to provide employability training to young people, health and safety training for people looking to work in construction, first aid training and a variety of meetings of local organisations.

An important feature of The Green is the continued support that will be provided for people looking to start new businesses, and additional funding has been received from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to deliver a programme of training and coaching through 2021-22.

Volunteer enterprise coach Paul Davies explains: “Even though there are reports of over 1 million vacancies being available, many of the people with whom we work have caring responsibilities, disabilities, illnesses and other constraints which mean that working nights for Amazon or Wetherspoons are simply not options. For them, working for themselves, is a practical and realistic alternative”.

Another benefit of taking on the new building is that it has provided the Trust with an enclosed garden which will be a facility used by other centre users. Parent and toddlers, scouts, cubs, beavers, brownies and wide range of other groups will be able to use it for play, environmental projects or simply a healthy outdoor space in which to meet.

LGCT Chair, Ian Birchmore sees this as a really important new asset for the Trust: “The Green has opened up huge new opportunities for the Trust to support and serve its local community. It will provide support to local people who are looking to improve their skills, and look for new work opportunities. It will also provide a further facility to enable people to get together – something they have been missing for the last year and a half”.

Chesterfield Community Hubs support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.