The new shop will be operated by Bann Maine West Community Cluster, which is in the Northern Zone Social Enterprise Hub premises on the corner of Bridge Street and Castle Street. ‘The Window – Bringing Community Ideas to Life’ will be open two to three days per week and will stock many unique products made by local people including art, crafts, wood products and much more.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to trial a retail outlet that has the potential to bring in finance to support the work that we are doing in the community. The Window will be staffed by volunteers from seven rural community groups – our cluster has really pulled together and we never would have been able to achieve anything like this without working in partnership. We have some wonderful unique products created by our own local people that would make ideal gifts,” explained Joanne Brown Kerr, Development Officer, Bann Maine West.
The Northern Zone Social Enterprise Hub, managed by LEDCOM, is one of eleven Hubs established across the nine Social Investment Zones under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Delivering Social Change Framework. With £4 million of funding from the Executive’s Delivering Social Change Fund, the initiative tackles poverty, dereliction and unemployment by encouraging social enterprise business start-up within local communities. The Hub are the key funders for this project.