Business booming in village centre after investment

Yaros Smith from Kenspeckle shows Richie Mitchell from Isos the company's 'Toffee Coal' product.
Yaros Smith from Kenspeckle shows Richie Mitchell from Isos the company's 'Toffee Coal' product.

VISITORS to a venue in a coastal village will be able to get a range of tasty treats following some new developments.

The Lynemouth Community Trust, which hosts a number of social enterprises under the name JUICE (Joined Up Investment for Community Enterprise) has struck a deal that will see Isos Housing invest £35,000 in its operations.

And in addition to the employment benefits from this arrangement, a Coast Carvery is opening on Sunday in the cafe area at Lynemouth Resource Centre to provide hot food, drinks and snacks.

It will provide breakfast until 11am, the carvery up to about 2pm and scones, cakes and teas until 5pm. The area is being rented by the trading arm of Lynemouth Day Centre.

Isos and the community trust have agreed to work together after establishing significant common ground in their objectives.

Both are social enterprises, both have a large stake in Lynemouth as a community and both are focused on developing the local economy for the benefit of all concerned.

The trust, based at the resource centre, is a vital source of employment in a village which has suffered from the decline of local industry, notably the Alcan plant which closed last year.

Parent company Rio Tinto Alcan is another funder of the trust’s work in Lynemouth.

Currently, the organisation employs 13 full and part time staff, but there are plans to increase this significantly as and when the businesses that are run from the building can support more jobs.

Trust manager Andrew Gooding said: “There has been a lot of research. We check out that there is a receptive market for what we do, but we stick our heads above the parapet as well.

“We’re here to generate employment opportunities. The more we grow, the more people we can employ.”

Its most high-profile business to date is the Kenspeckle confectionery company, which makes high-quality chocolate products with a Northumbrian twist.

It has recently started making products for upmarket department store Selfridges.

There are also plans to develop a textile business, known as Weave. This would enable self-employed independent textile designers and manufacturers to produce and market their own creations.

JUICE is also home to a smaller jam-making enterprise.

Richie Mitchell, community investment manager at Isos, said: “We know how the community in Lynemouth has suffered through various local employers closing down over recent years, so we are delighted to be investing in the village’s community trust where new jobs are being created.

“We have a shared agenda of helping to sustain village life and keep the community together, and we are confident that we can achieve great things together.”

Lynemouth Day Centre’s carvery enterprise was progressed after a high-quality servery was donated to it by Rio Tinto.

Workers from Lynemouth Power UK transported the equipment to the resource centre and funding for the initiative has been provided by Northumberland County Council, including money from Coun Milburn Douglas’ small members’ allowance, and Isos.

Gillian Thompson, manager at the day centre, said: “We’re all excited about the opening of the carvery. Hopefully, residents will give it a go then come along on a regular basis.

“If everything goes well, we’ll be looking to employ another three or four people early next year and then extend the opening hours to the evening in the spring.”