Highland Council continues to support the valuable work of social enterprises

HIGHLAND Council is seen as a leading Authority in Scotland in its long term support of Social Enterprises Groups enabling them to provide jobs and volunteering opportunities.

The Council provides funding to a number of Social Enterprise Groups which deal with recycling and re-use of household goods, diverting around 2,700 tonnes of material from landfill. Projected funding for 2015-16 will be £392,940.

Discussions have taken place between the Waste Team and the Social Enterprise Groups as to how to continue to support the valuable service they provide within the reduced budget of funding available.

It is proposed that from April 2015, the Council concentrates support on the re-use of household items such as furniture and bric-a-brac and will use the coming year to consider the addition of new materials and review of existing materials for implementation in 2016-17.

Cllr Graham Mackenzie, Chair of the Community Services Committee said:

“We have to make budget savings, but we are committed to continue working together with social enterprises, recognising the importance of a model which can benefit communities in providing valuable services and employment opportunities.

“We also want to look at the social impact of these groups over the coming year, to ensure wider benefits to communities in return for investment. Our overall funding for 2016-17 cannot exceed £350,000, so we will review each group’s activities and payment mechanisms to ensure that funding is used for the maximum benefit of people in the Highlands.”

Ian Matheson, Blythswood Operations Manager said: “As a sustainable social enterprise, Blythswood’s reuse and recycling activities directly employ 66 people in the Highlands as well as more than 250 volunteers.  Our team includes people with a wide range of employment needs. 

“Support from Highland Council has been key to the growth and development of this waste diversion capability and its significant social impact.”

10 Feb 2015
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