Community enterprise celebrates 10 years of growth in Dingle

14.02.2013

A local community enterprise in Dingle that works to provide a vital transport service for the local community has celebrated its 10th anniversary by achieving ownership of the building it operates from.

A local community enterprise in Dingle that works to provide a vital transport service for the local community has celebrated its 10th anniversary by achieving ownership of the building it operates from.

South Central Community Transport (SCCT), which provides affordable transport solutions for local people, set up in 2003 through leasing a former derelict garage on Mill Street from Neighbourhood investor Plus Dane Group (then CDS Housing). The building had been earmarked for demolition as part of a Housing Improvement Programme to remove blight from Liverpool 8 but after approaching Plus Dane for support, the Group purchased the building to lease to SCCT for a nominal rent to allow them to establish themselves as a stand-alone business.

Ten years on, and SCCT has established itself as a thriving social business servicing multiple clients and offering a wide range of services from door to door transport trips such as lunches for older people, educational trips and youth organised events, to recruitment open days, drop in advice sessions for the local community, as well as community events.

As part of the ten year celebrations, Plus Dane officially handed over the lease of the building to SCCT to enable the organisation to continue to develop its business.

Gerard Murden, Managing Director at Plus Dane Group, commented: “I am delighted to be celebrating the significant achievements of SCCT ten years after the business was first set up.

“I am proud that Plus Dane has been able to provide its support and help SCCT grow from a small operation to the thriving business it is now, offering a valuable and much needed affordable transport solution for local people. As a Neighbourhood investor, Plus Dane recognised the difference that SCCT could make and we are delighted to be able to put the final piece of the business together by handing the building back over to the team to enable them to continue their great work.”

Speaking at an event to mark the official handover, SCCT Transport Manager, Bernie Smith, said: “I can’t thank Plus Dane enough for all the support they’ve given us over the last 10 years, which has helped us to build and grow the business into one that we are proud of today. I would like to thank everyone involved for their support and we are looking forward to another successful decade of continuing to offer affordable transport and employment opportunities for the local community.”

SCCT is a registered charity set up by three founder members, Bernie Smith, Kenneth Brabbins and John Bird, and is governed by a board of nine trustees. By receiving ownership of the building, SCCT will be able to access loan facilities to further expand, as well as being able to undertake further works to develop the business.