Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Farmer will today (Tuesday 6 November) visit Stornoway to formally open the UK’s first Social Enterprise MOT Testing Station at the Old Mill, Sandwick Road.
Later today he will help launch a local Island social enterprise awards scheme and lead a panel discussion on social enterprise.
On his first visit to the Outer Hebrides, Sir Tom said: “I am delighted to be here to open the UK’s first community-owned and run MOT Station, part of a social enterprise which also includes transport and grounds maintenance operations. I was impressed that this initiative was developed by Third Sector Hebrides without calling on the public purse, and it helps to demonstrate that social enterprises, large and small, can contribute to employment and meet social as well as economic objectives.”
Neil Campbell, Chair of Third Sector Hebrides, added: “We are delighted to have Sir Tom with us today to formally open the MOT centre as well as help start a new Hebrides-wide social enterprise awards scheme aimed at celebrating the huge contribution which community-owned enterprises make in social, economic and cultural terms.”
Alasdair Nicholson, CEO of Third Sector Hebrides, said: “At a time when poverty and inequality are highlighted, and public agencies face hard financial times, we should not lose sight of the substantial role which the community itself has, both in community-owned assets and in developing new social enterprises which help create and sustain employment as well as meet other community benefit targets.”