A scheme to help young people and adults with disabilities to find work has resulted in paid placements for more than 20 people and training for nearly 40 others.
Social enterprise Action Support, which has two shops in St Giles Street, runs Train 4 Work, which teaches people skills such as furniture restoration, decorating, gardening and general DIY.
The scheme has had the backing of Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID). Under the BID’s Inspired Northampton project, Action Support has received technical help, mentoring and a financial grant to help it develop in the future.
BID director, Brendan Bruder, manages the Inspired Northampton project with fellow BID director, Alan Harland.
He said: “Inspired Northampton aims to help regenerate the town by filling vacant retail outlets, increasing footfall and spend, and introducing new retailers, and Action Support and its two retail outlets meet all of these objectives.
“Both of Action Support’s shops occupy two prime retail locations in the Cultural Quarter and represent an interesting and innovative retail offering which includes antiques, collectibles and ethically-sourced gifts at number 45 and items of local Northampton origin, art, crafts, jewellery and sculpture, all made by people in Northamptonshire, at number 39,” he added.
Sue Armstrong, Action Support director, said: “We are very grateful to the BID for this support.
“We have a long-standing relationship with the BID, which not only provides financial assistance, but also valuable business advice and mentoring,” she added.
“Action Support is a unique business model which helps a large number of individuals and organisations, particularly those people who have previously had the door closed when seeking work.”