In urgent need of repair and upgrade, Three Trees Community Centre has been serving Chelmsley Wood residents, young and old, for over four decades.
With a fundraising target of £650k to modernise the building, Development in Social Enterprise (DISE) was commissioned to produce a business plan that would not only determine the viability of various income generation ideas for the centre but also form part of a bid to the Big Lottery for much needed capital investment.
While working with the Church to prepare the funding application, Solihull SUSTAiN identified the need for professional help with business planning:
“We had no hesitation in recommending DISE for the work. The brief included a thorough assessment of several business ideas including a community café, managed workspace, venue hire, and a community garden project.” Alan Crawford, Funding Officer, Solihull SUSTAiN.
With the Centre still in use, and momentum for investment gathering pace, the business plan was an urgent piece of work that required completion within a matter of weeks.
“After our initial meeting with DISE, they began to explore our plans in detail, identifying potential problems, making suggestions on how to improve use of the building to maximise income but also advising on ways to reduce our environmental impact.” Neil Roberts, Reverend at Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church.
“We were kept informed of progress and regularly sent updates to comment on, always on time, knowing that keeping to schedule was really important to us,” adds Neil.
The depth of social enterprise knowledge and experience that DISE brings is rare and carries tremendous weight in shaping our thinking and how we make our hopes a reality for the Three Trees.”
With the business plan complete, Alan and Neil were able to improve the quality of the funding proposal and move one step closer towards developing Three Trees as a local community enterprise, offering a range of high quality services and facilities for many future generations to come.