Cash flow boost for Larne bottling facility

David Hunter from AEL tours the Larne bottling facility with the Housing Executives Head of Communities Jennifer Hawthorne.
David Hunter from AEL tours the Larne bottling facility with the Housing Executives Head of Communities Jennifer Hawthorne.

A Larne social enterprise is celebrating after securing a £50,000 grant from the Housing Executive to help increase its sustainability.

Acceptable Enterprises Ltd (AEL) based at Centre Point secured the substantial funding to employ a plant manager and increase warehousing facilities at their bottling plant.

AEL works with local charity Learning to Grow, which encourages people with learning disabilities to enter the workforce and become less socially isolated.

AEL Chief Executive David Hunter said: “We have entered into a new partnership agreement with Learning to Grow that will see AEL producing Ireland’s first ethical bottled water brand ‘Clearer Water’

“The Housing Executive grant allowed us to purchase substantial racking which is in place in our warehouse as well as a pallet stacker to aid storage and distribution.

“A new plant manager was also employed with the grant funding, increasing our capacity and professionalising our operations.

“There are other organisations out there that could take a lead from the Housing Executive – they are taking a real step forward by supporting this type of social enterprise.”

Dozens of local projects across the province are celebrating after receiving grants totaling £500,000 for a range of social enterprise initiatives from the Housing Executive.

Aimed at building services and creating new jobs in local housing communities, the individual awards range from £1000 to £50,000.

The scheme forms an integral part of the Housing Executive’s new Social Housing Enterprise Strategy.

Housing Executive Social Enterprise Liaison Manager Paul Carland said: “Supporting projects like this improves the quality of life for our tenants and breathes life into opportunities for local employment.”

Mairead Myles Davey, Housing Executive Manager for Mid and East Antrim, said; “We wish everyone involved the very best of luck in building sustainability, while impacting positively on our local community.”

For more information on the Housing Executive’s Social Housing Investment Scheme, click online at nihe.gov.uk.