New community hub sets up to support local talent thanks to help from Wigan businesses
A new community hub has launched in Wigan town centre to help people turn their ideas and talents into a business - while also improving mental health and well-being.
The Made in Wigan shop, which will be based in The Galleries on Hope Street, has been developed by David Baxter, from Abram Ward Community Cooperative – with support from local businesses including Connolly Ltd, Magicalogical and Milliken.
The hub will work with people in Wigan to turn an individual interest or raw skill into a valued product or service, and in turn create new, or expand existing, community businesses.
David said: "We want to support some of the most vulnerable people in Wigan, such as those who have physical disabilities or mental health problems or who are experiencing social isolation and help them to have better health and wellbeing, but also empower them to believe, as we do, that everyone has 'something' to give, which they are good at and that they love doing, which can be turned into a community business.
"People may not know what their something is yet – but we can provide them with ideas and the skills they need to implement it. We want to help people rebuild their lives, raise aspirations and put them on the road to success.
“Made in Wigan is for the local community and it would not have been possible without all of the wonderful support we have had from the existing local business community; from helping us to fit out the shop to design work and supporting individuals to follow their dreams. A big thank you to them all.”
The Galleries shopping centre is offering its Pop-Up Shop to people from the Made in Wigan hub, who want to test out their new business idea with the community.
Manager of The Galleries, Simon Tucker, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Made in Wigan to the centre and helping them to showcase local talent on their pathway to success. It will be really rewarding to see the first products or services being delivered and we would be delighted to see some of the individuals making use of our Pop-Up Shop, giving them the chance to experience retail."
Becca Heron, director for economy and skills at Wigan Council said Made in Wigan is a great example of how the town centre can diversify and of how local community groups and small businesses can be supported.
She added: "Made in Wigan will not only help individuals realise their talents but add value to the community and in turn generate further revenue and jobs.
"We wish the Made In Wigan shop and all those that join the programme every success in their new ventures, and we are looking forward to seeing the borough's community businesses grow and prosper."
The Made in Wigan community hub is now open from - Monday to Friday 10am - 2pm –and there will be a summer of skills workshops to be announced.
"Made in Wigan is for the local community and it would not have been possible without all of the wonderful support we have had from the existing local business community. A big thank you to them all."
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