A COMMUNITY arts centre is preparing dramatic expansion plans after its director secured a place on a top business mentoring scheme.
Ian Jackson from Cadence Cafe in Tyldesley beat more than 130 applicants to secure one of the 20 places on the School For Social Enterpreneurs Programme, which is sponsored by Lloyds Bank.
He made it on to the prestigious 12-month course after submitting detailed plans to double the size of the community interest company and being quizzed on his proposals at a searching interview.
Ian (pictured) hopes the programme will enable Cadence to bring the arts to many more people in Tyldesley and surrounding towns, with plans for more jobs alongside the cafe’s current team of four staff and a move from its Chapel Street base to larger premises.
The 46-year-old said: “It’s a massive opportunity, not just for me but for Cadence and the whole east side of the borough. I’ve been a champion of Tyldesley for a long time so it’s nice to be recognised for that on a national scale.
“We want to have a bigger social impact with Cadence and help more people, not just younger residents but also older people to build on the success of our work running the dementia film club.
“I’m really looking forward to it and I hope it shows that if you try and keep going you will get there in the end.”
Starting in October, the programme will see Ian working with leading mentors, investors and social finance organisations to increase Cadence’s size through twice-monthly meetings to go through business models, full-day learning activities and advice sessions.
It ends with a graduation ceremony in October 2015 and Ian is hoping the year-long course will see Cadence emulate the success of past participants such as The Brink, a bar and restaurant in Liverpool which does not serve alcohol.
Ian said: “Since setting up Brink as a dry pub they have made it into a real community hub, which is similar to what we hope Cadence will be. I set up the cafe because Tyldesley had fallen off the map, and I wanted to do something to create a sense of community spirit and bring live music back to the town.”
For more information visit www.cadencecafecic.co.uk