More than £50,000 has been granted to the Lynemouth Community Trust to help promote the entrepreneurial skills of local residents.
The trust applied to Rio Tinto’s Legacy Fund to support three social enterprises known collectively as JUICE – Joined Up Investment For Community Enterprise.
Bosses at the site of Rio Tinto’s former Lynemouth Smelter agreed to donate £53,484 to help the three businesses grow, win new orders and create new employment.
Trust chairman Bill Tarbit said he was delighted the application had been successful.
“This is a terrific boost for Lynemouth’s residents and I’m confident the donation from Rio Tinto will unlock great potential in the community,” he said.
“The three businesses that together form JUICE are quite distinct from one another but by bringing them all under one roof we should be able to provide collective strength by maximising their buying power and marketing potential.”
The first of the three social enterprises is Kenspeckle, a chocolatier and confectionery company that operates out of Lynemouth Resource Centre.
It has already sold its products through Selfridges in London, but growth can only be accommodated with new equipment and four new staff.
A range of jams and preserves are produced and sold at Lynemouth Resource Centre’s café as well as through tourist outlets such as National Trust properties.
Investment in new production equipment will safeguard two existing jobs and improve the sustainability of the café.
The third venture is Weave, an incubator hub for small, independent textile designers and manufactures from where self-employed people can produce and market their own creations.
It will accommodate 25 small businesses and training for 300 local people.