Cash boost to help create jobs

PROJECTS designed to create local jobs and apprenticeships in 1066 Country and the rest of East Sussex have been given a £500,000 funding boost.

A total of 10 applicants were successful in their bid for a share of East Sussex County Council’s Social Business Investment Fund.

Social enterprises were invited to apply for financial help in delivering projects that would create jobs for disadvantaged or vulnerable adults and young people, provide a social or environmental benefit for East Sussex, or create volunteering opportunities.

Between them, the 10 successful projects are expected to create 25 jobs, 21 apprenticeships and 65 volunteering opportunities.

Hastings Furniture Service, which helps people on low incomes furnish and equip their homes with refurbished items, was awarded £90,000 for its Pretty Crafty project.

Naomi Ridley, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Social Business Investment Fund panel chose to invest in our Pretty Crafty project over the next two years.

“The project will develop a high quality craft shop and venue for the social enterprise sector, creating dozens of opportunities for volunteers and trainees. We are already hunting for the perfect premises for the project.”

East Sussex Credit Union was also successful in its application and was awarded £90,000 to expand its services in East Sussex. The not-for-profit loans and savings cooperative currently has more than 4,000 members who have savings of more than £1.5 million.

Richard Priestman, president of East Sussex Credit Union, said: “We are very pleased to get this funding from East Sussex County Council. It will allow us to create jobs, volunteering opportunities and extend our savings and loans, and other services across the county.”

Cllr Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for economy, said: “We are happy to be able to help social enterprises expand and create new and sustainable jobs. These businesses play a vital role in helping to boost the economy in East Sussex.”

East Sussex County Council received 27 applications from social enterprises totalling £1.2 million and all applications were presented to a panel made up of representatives of the council, voluntary sector and the business community. For more information about grants and loans visit