Lord Heseltine film tribute

Heseltine in film tribute to Knowsley Development Trust 

Former Minister for Merseyside Michael Heseltine is helping a Knowsley social enterprise celebrate a key business milestone.

Lord Heseltine has filmed a special video for Knowsley Development Trust’s 25th anniversary next month.

The former Deputy Prime Minister set up the Merseyside Task Force which helped the Development Trust set up its North Mersey Business Centre headquarters to support new and fledgling businesses in the area.

With the support of the City Action Team and the Civic Trust, the Task Force approved £1m of funding to create 30,000 sq ft of modern offices and workshops on the site of a rundown former council depot in Kirkby.

Today, the once-derelict 7.5-acre site on the fringes of Knowsley Industrial Park, is now a thriving business hub, and home to 110 companies employing more than 750 people.

It is estimated that since the business centre was established more than 1,000 businesses have benefited from its facilities, and, collectively, they have created more than 6,000 jobs.

As a social enterprise, Knowsley Development Trust ploughs back all the profits from the business centre into projects that benefit local people, including Knowsley Enterprise Acdemy and community transport operation Your Travel Boroughwide.
Development Trust chief executive Steve Dumbell, the prime mover behind the organisation, said: “We’re delighted that Lord Heseltine agreed to appear in our film because his initiatives played a key role in helping us to set up 25 years ago.” Mr Dumbell is also calling on all those involved in the early days of the Development Trust to get in touch in advance of the September anniversary celebrations.

“We want to track down and show our appreciation to everyone who supported us at that time, give them an update on our progress, and thank them on behalf of all the businesses and individuals who have benefited from our services over the years,” he said.

And 2015 is set to be a memorable year for the Development Trust as the organisation was recently presented with the country’s highest business honour for the second time.

Steve Dumbell and chairman Aliyes Hassan visited Buckingham Palace earlier this month to receive the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, which the Trust will hold for a further five years.

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