Social enterprise regeneration programme up for trio of awards

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​A programme which aimed to put the wow factor in some of the Glasgow area's high streets is up for three awards

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23rd October 2014 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

A project which challenged 16 to 30 year olds to find social enterprise solutions to the issue of high street and town centre decline in the Glasgow area has been nominated for a hattrick of awards.

Firstport and  Icecream Architecture's (ICA) Beyond the Finish Line programme has been included in the Town Centre Regeneration category of the 2014 SURF awards, the Lighthouse Design Impact awards and Social Enterprise Scotland awards.

The programme offered 15 groups and individuals, known as challengers, one-to-one business support, mentoring from industry experts, free workspace within a refurbished incubator space, funding of up to £2014 and support to find their own premises to open for business in time for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Following the games each was then given a further support to help them become sustainable social enterprises, delivering lasting social benefits to local areas.

The most valuable experience of all is the people we have met and networked with and the other creatives that we have bounced ideas with. It was a very encouraging and welcoming environment

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund it produced a variety of exciting initiatives including a youth culture magazine, an upcycling enterprise, an illustration company, confidence workshops for young mothers and a community cinema.

Little Book Transfers saw a trio of graduates – Hollie, Nikki and Mairi – with BA (Hons) Visual Arts from North Glasgow College, collaborate to create mural art.

They say they really benefited from the the co-working space and community aspect of the project.

Hollie explained: “It was perfect for us. We prefer to be in a creative environment with others. The fact that some of the challengers were working in similar creative fields made sharing the space even more fulfilling. Also, the diversity of social enterprises allowed us to question things about our own work that we may not already have. You could see first hand the progress everyone was making!

“The most valuable experience of all is the people we have met and networked with and the other creatives that we have bounced ideas with. It was a very encouraging and welcoming environment.”

As the end of the project approaches everyone is at different stages of their business but one last lucrative challenge has been set to all of the challengers.

Later this year they will have the opportunity to pitch for access to a final £3000 top-up funding.

To find out more about Beyond the Finish Line visit beyondthefinishline.org.uk.