Jonny braves the den to secure centre funds
The Fraser Centre in Tranent has secured funding of £9,000 as a runner-up in the Coalfields Community Challenge.
As one of six social enterprises to reach the final of the challenge, Centre Manager Jonny Russell braved a Dragons’ Den to land the award.
Run by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the challenge was set up to help budding entrepreneurs create jobs in Scotland’s former mining areas.
Jonny, who received his award from Scottish Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess, said: “It was disappointing not to take the top award, but being part of the challenge has been a fantastic experience.
“The training courses and mentoring we received from the Trust, means we are much more focussed on developing The Fraser Centre as a community hub for the town, and creating work experience and training opportunities for local young people.
“The £9,000 award will go towards employing a member of staff to help run the Centre and free up the rest of the team to develop new services.”
Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess said: “This government is committed to the regeneration of our ex-coalfield communities. The Coalfields Community Challenge is an excellent example of how community led regeneration can work to the benefit of everyone involved. Regeneration plays a vital role in growing our country’s economy, helping to create jobs and prosperity and improving the life chances of Scotland’s people.”
Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Tom McAughtrie who chaired the Dragons Den said: “All our finalists all came up with really exciting and viable business propositions, proving that the spirit of enterprise is alive and well in former mining communities.
“The Fraser Centre was worthy of a runners-up award as they demonstrate good business ideas and show early promise. CRT support for specific aspects of their work can help them move forward in a serious way.”
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust Chief Executive Gary Ellis said: “The Trust in Scotland is leading the way in inspiring would be entrepreneurs, and giving them the support they need to make a success of their social enterprises.”
The top award of £25,000 went to Kilsyth’s Kelvin Valley Honey, which the Dragons said was “well developed and ready to deliver.”
Jonny is pictured (above) with Housing Minister Margaret Burgess.
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