The organisation that brought Antony Gormley’s ‘Iron Men’ to Crosby beach has marked its tenth anniversary by changing its name and announcing ambitious new plans for the future.
Bootle-based business support specialist South Sefton Development Trust has been renamed Regenerus to reflect the broader scope of its operations, which now include involvement in regional, national and European initiatives.
The new name was unveiled at a celebration lunch at the L20 Hotel School at Hugh Baird College in Bootle attended by more than 80 guests.
They included the Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton, Cllr Kevin Cluskey and Mrs Linda Cluskey, and Sefton Council Leader Cllr Peter Dowd.
Guests at the lunch heard Chief Executive Cate Murphy review the highlights of the organisation’s work over the past decade.
Apart from ‘Another Place’ – which has attracted around 650,000 extra visitors to Sefton – these have included helping to establish 185 small businesses and providing support to more than 550 existing enterprises.
This has resulted in the creation of 280 new jobs, with a further 522 being safeguarded.
One social enterprise business support programme was so successful that it was subsequently adopted by the European Commission for use as far afield as Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Cyprus.
On Merseyside, more than 2,100 people have benefited from training courses run by the Development Trust/Regenerus, and over 5,000 people have taken part in its community initiatives.
In total, these activities have contributed around £5.6 million to the south Sefton economy over the past ten years.
Looking to the future, Mrs Murphy announced that Regenerus will be working to create the next generation of entrepreneurs with its new Talent Match programme for young people, which aims to create 40 new sustainable businesses.
In addition, the organisation will be helping south Sefton residents to make their money go further via the creation of a new ‘social supermarket’ that will promote locally grown produce and locally made goods.
Surplus rental income from the Investment Centre office building in Bootle – managed by Regenerus – will continue to be ploughed back into community projects in the area, such as the Ace Fund environmental grant scheme.
And as previously announced, Regenerus will also be working with the Friends of Carnegie Library in Crosby on finding a new use for the historic 1905 building to ensure that it remains a community asset for the town.
Speaking at the lunch the organisation’s Chair, Colin Appleton, said: “The celebration lunch was our way of showing our appreciation to the many individuals and organisations who have contributed to our work since 2004.
“Ten years on from the Iron Men, it was also designed to highlight our determination to continue bringing forward projects and services that create new businesses and jobs, and generate lasting benefits for the communities we serve.”