Prestigious recognition for Scottish town
Award winning director and comedian Chris Addison visited Callander as it was named Scotland's first Social Enterprise Place.
Addison visited the Scottish town as it received the accreditation recognising it as a hotspot of social enterprise activity.
The Social Enterprise Places Programme is run by the membership body for the sector, Social Enterprise UK.
In Callander social enterprises are forming an ever-increasing part of the local economy tackling issues including social mobility, access to affordable housing, health and wellbeing, social isolation and access to the surrounding countryside.
The local community is at the heart of the town’s social enterprise sector with many businesses being directly owned by the community itself. This includes Callander Community Hydro, a community owned renewable energy project which generates an operating surplus of £200,000 per annuum, and the McLaren Community Leisure Centre.
Other examples of social enterprises in the area are a community owned newspaper and Creative in Callander which supports local artists to display and sell their work.
One of the leading social enterprises behind the town’s bid to become a Social Enterprise Place is the Callander Youth Project which supports young people into employment and runs the 5-star Callander Hostel.
Chris Martin from the organisation explained: “Callander Hostel is a prime example of how a business can be set up in such a way as to generate income but also to make a significant social impact in our community. Over the years Callander Youth Project Trust has made a huge difference to the life chances of young people in the area helping to develop local talent and encourage entrepreneurship."
Social Enterprise UK patron, Chris Addison, said: "Callander is a beautiful little town with beautiful big ideas, showing us what’s possible when communities come together to take on local issues and make change happen. Scotland’s bristling with brilliant social enterprise so it’s quite the achievement for this fantastic town to have been named the country’s first Social Enterprise Place.
"Social enterprises are the business hope for the future - sustainable, profitable but driven by the desire to be good for people and planet alike. Right now we’re facing some pretty steep challenges, from rising inequality to climate change, and if we’re going to tackle them we’re going to need to learn from this growing, dynamic, innovative and passionate movement of social entrepreneurs. Callander’s leading the way - here’s hoping many more areas follow."