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EDS NW - Business Planning & Feasibility Studies

As a successful social enterprise business which has traded independently for over 25 years, EDS has often been approached by public, private and voluntary sector organisations to advise new and established third sector organisation on the development of sustainable business plans. Examples of recent work of this kind is provided below:

Fatima Mansion Enterprise Strategy
Client: Fatima Regeneration Board, Dublin (2008)

The Fatima Regeneration Board was established, in partnership with Dublin City Council, to oversee the physical and social regeneration of Fatima Mansions, a notorious housing estate south east of Dublin City Centre. EDS, in partnership with Zest and Atkins Ltd, was appointed to develop an Enterprise Strategy which would guide the development of community enterprise and social entrepreneurship within the Fatima Mansion Regeneration Area. The Enterprise Strategy examined the feasibility of establishing a number of social enterprise businesses which would: provide employment opportunities for Fatima residents from a worklessness background; have a positive impact on community cohesion; and generate community pride amongst existing social housing residents and new owner-occupier residents in the neighbourhood. The study provided recommendations on; those social and community enterprise businesses which could feasibly be sustainable; the potential availability of resources; appropriate governance, management and operational structures and potential linkages to similar enterprises in adjacent neighbourhoods in the City. The study concluded with the production of business plans for three community businesses and two of these community businesses (a laundry and a catering company) currently provide employment opportunities for Fatima residents.

Broomhall Cosmopolitan Centre
Client: Broomhall Forum and Sheffield City Council

EDS, in partnership with Atkins Ltd and NUCA (Netherthorpe and Upperthorpe Community Alliance), was commissioned by Sheffield City Council to undertake a feasibility study into the potential to develop a number of social enterprise businesses linked to the development of the Broomhall Cosmopolitan Centre in Sheffield. The study, recommended appropriate vehicles which may hold assets on behalf of the Community in Broomhall (e.g. a CIC); identified barriers to investment and how they could be overcome; advised on the approaches to the transfer of assets to community enterprises and the financing of such actions; potential funding sources to support the proposed activities and the development of a strategy and action plan; and provided an assessment of the viability of a number of proposed social enterprise businesses.

Clubmoor Children’s Centre and Community Cafe
Client: Liverpool City Council

EDS undertook a feasibility study and options appraisal for Liverpool City Council, centred on the Sure Start Children Centre at Clubmoor in East Liverpool. The study focused on the development of a number of social enterprise models capable of delivering the additional financial and operational requirements of the Centre. The study team surveyed all the key stakeholders and undertook an in-depth financial appraisal of the income generation potential of the services provided by the Centre (i.e. Community Cafe, Nursery, meeting rooms and underused floor space available for rent). The potential for shared provision with neighbouring facilities and franchising opportunities was also investigated. The study recommended that: the asset should be transferred to a new independent social enterprise business with responsibility for the operation of the Centre; the Community Cafe should be franchised to a local established catering business; and the Nursery should be established as a separate business. A detailed business plan was developed for the new social enterprise.

The Keswick Children & Family Centre
Client: Cumbria County Council and Keswick Partnership

Economic Development Services, working in partnership with Atkins and Faithful and Gould, undertook an independent study to consider the development of a fit for purpose facility - a Children & Family Centre - that would provide a range of childcare activities and support to families living in the Keswick Market Town Initiative area.
The study included the following elements:

The study culminated in a recommendation to establish the Centre on land adjacent to an existing school and the development of a detailed business plan that explored the financial viability and sustainability of the multi-use facility. The recommendations were accepted by Keswick Area Partnership and the County Council and the Centre opened to the public in 2009.