PwC announces partners in social enterprise investment venture
The Fire Station at Tooley Street will be fitted out with a social enterprise bistro, wine bar, private dining and event business (including a training and demonstration kitchen); a social enterprise business centre and office space for training 40 social enterprise students every year.

Fuente:  Fecha: 8.6.2011

PwC announces partners in social enterprise investment venture

PwC, the professional services firm, has announced an exciting and pioneering three-way partnership between the private, public and third sectors to help disadvantaged individuals develop skills and find work. The project will support the development of the social enterprise sector.

Taking anchor roles in the new social enterprise business initiative alongside PwC, are London chef Simon Boyle and his Beyond Food Foundation, De Vere Venues, and the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

The initiative will be based at a former fire station near London Bridge station in central London, originally built in 1879, which has been extensively restored and refurbished as part of PwC’s new office development at More London.

The social enterprise bistro, wine bar and private dining event business, named ‘Brigade’, will be managed by De Vere Venues, and supported by the Beyond Food Foundation’s Freshlife Training and Apprenticeship scheme. It will provide a location for individuals who have experienced homelessness, and other vulnerable groups to participate in a catering training and an apprenticeship programme. The bistro, wine bar and private dining venue will open to the public in the autumn, with the kitchens and training overseen by Simon Boyle.

The redevelopment of the Fire Station is funded by PwC, the Beyond Food Foundation (through a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Place of Change Programme) and De Vere Venues, with support from Big Issue Invest. PwC will actively support the social enterprise business centre through volunteer time and financial support including reinvesting the profits from ‘Brigade’ back into the local community.

Richard Collier Keywood, managing partner, PwC said: “We want to create a centre for social enterprise innovation, combining private, public and third sector expertise, and a flagship for business and social enterprise partnering. The parties we’ve brought together bring that to life.

“Like any business, social enterprises need to build the capacity to operate at scale if they are to be able to compete for the opportunities that are now on the table. Ours is an ambitious approach and it only works because all three of the public, private and third sectors have come together. No-one would have achieved this alone.”

Alastair Wilson, CEO, School for Social Entrepreneurs commented: “We are thrilled to be partners in this landmark venture. The fire station will provide a world class facility for social entrepreneurs to start-up, scale and spin out initiatives through developing their ideas with like-minded people.”

Simon Boyle, Beyond Food Foundation said: “The Beyond Food Foundation is proud to be a founding partner at the fire station. It is our vision through world class business, training and support that we will change many vulnerable people’s lives for the better. We also hope to demonstrate the value of partnerships and very much hope that the Fire Station becomes a beacon for other partnerships to create social change.”

Tony Dangerfield, CEO, De Vere Venues, said: “We’ve worked in partnership with PwC for many years and this venture is hugely important for us. De Vere Venues is continually seeking innovative ideas and this initiative complements our existing business. De Vere Venues is proud to be involved with The Fire Station, it’s a fantastic product for London’s hospitality scene as well as providing a great opportunity for vulnerable people.”

Richard Cunningham, Delivery Manager at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said: “In line with the Places of Change Programme’s aims and objectives, The Fire Station initiative will be a place where homeless people and ex-rough sleepers will, through innovative programmes, access the support they need to develop skills and gain the confidence to break the cycle of homelessness. In addition, the quality facilities at ‘Brigade’ will provide on the job training and job opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged. I look forward to hearing about how this social enterprise is making a real difference to people’s quality of life.”