Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson visited the historic Arnotdale House in Dollar Park to see first-hand how social enterprises are transforming Scotland’s local economies.
Cyrenians, a charity which works to tackle the causes and consequences of homelessness, worked in partnership with the local authority to restore the 19th-century mansion and walled garden.
The house now boasts a social enterprise café and events space as well as providing a base for the charity’s employability and support services in Falkirk.
Profits from the house are reinvested into the charity’s work.
Arnotdale House is one of more than 6,000 social enterprises in Scotland.
Together they contribute more than £2.3 billion to Scotland’s economy and support more than 88,000 jobs.
Mr Matheson was welcomed to Arnotdale House by Chris Martin, chief executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, which champions and supports the social enterprise sector.
In July this year, Social Enterprise Scotland was chosen by the Scottish Government to represent social enterprises in Scotland with one clear voice.
The independent and membership-led organisation supports and promotes the rich and diverse social enterprise sector across the country, helping them to maximise their social and economic contribution to Scotland.
It follows on from the Scottish Government’s social enterprise action plan, which committed to placing social enterprise at the forefront of ethical and socially responsible business in Scotland.
It includes investment, building capacity and supporting social enterprises to flourish – as well as creating the Single Enhanced Intermediary.
Cyrenians delivers over 50 projects which support people excluded from family, home, work, and community to ensure they can access, accommodation, health services, food, company, education and employment.
Michael Matheson MSP said:
“It was great to visit Arnotdale House to see the work they are doing to support the local community. Social enterprises are important to our local communities, and it is great to see the work that Cyrenians do from Arnotdale House through their employability and support services, as well as their social enterprise café and events space.”
Chris Martin, chief executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said:
“We are proud to be growing a strong and inclusive voice for social enterprises in Scotland.
“We were delighted to welcome Mr Matheson to Arnotdale House to see first-hand how the more-than-profit approach at the heart of the social enterprise movement is making a difference every single day.
“Social enterprises play a leading role in putting greater fairness and equality into our economy and Arnotdale House is a fantastic example of what can be achieved.”
Linda Kelly, director of commercial services at the Cyrenians, said:
“Arnotdale House creates both jobs and community connections.
“Here our enterprise works in partnership with our services to give families and individuals what they need to thrive in a beautifully restored house which offers a unique sense of connection to Falkirk’s history and a vibrant community space.”