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Community Impact Recognised by Princess Royal

Our impact on the economy and community of Mid-Ulster was today recognised and celebrated during a visit by HRH, the Princess Royal to our site in Draperstown.

A social enterprise established in 1985, we were set up to stimulate economic growth and job creation in the Mid-Ulster area by providing workspace units alongside business support services. We subsequently added employability and training initiatives, recruitment services, energy efficiency products, afterschool care and recreation facilities to our portfolio.

Since then we have created hundreds of jobs and currently employ 185 staff in 15 locations across Northern Ireland, Ireland and Manchester.  We also have 52 business tenants who directly employ 205 local people. Last year through our employability business Network Personnel we helped 916 individuals gain employment or move to further education in addition to helping 107 small businesses and 21 social enterprises start-up and grow in the Mid-Ulster area through Workspace Enterprises

Welcoming Princess Anne to the Workspace Group, Chief Executive Georgina Grieve said:

“Today’s visit recognises the impact the Workspace Group has had in Mid-Ulster since we were established in 1985. Workspace has created hundreds of jobs and supported countless businesses in their own growth and expansion plans, creating much needed employment in the region. Our community projects such as the Recreation Centre, After School Club and Community Fund have provided vital support for the Draperstown community.  We have also been integral to the growth and development of many local community organisations through providing them with grants and free space to conduct their services. 

“I am delighted that we have been selected to host this visit and to welcome Princess Anne to the Workspace Group to introduce her to the broad range of businesses, social enterprises and community organisations with whom we work,” she added.

During her visit Princess Anne met with team members from across the Workspace Group as well representatives from the Ballinascreen Historical Society, S.T.E.P.S. Mental Health and Ballinascreen Men’s Shed. She also visited the Cornstore Creative Hub, home to Glasgowbury, which provides training and services to develop creativity, artists and audiences in the local area and across Northern Ireland.

Karen McGuigan, S.T.E.P.S. Mental Health, said: “S.T.E.P.S. take every opportunity to get Suicide and Mental Health talked about openly. S.T.E.P.S. started in 2012 and in 2015 due to its growth Workspace provided us with a venue where we run classes, meetings and training. In 2016 S.T.E.P.S. Counselling was established. As we start 2020 Workspace have provided us with additional space so we can meet the demand for our counselling service. S.T.E.P.S. was set up by the community for the community and shows great things can be achieved when communities and organisations such as Workspace work together for change.” 

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