Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has welcomed one of Inverclyde’s leading third sector organisations to its membership as the latest company to join Inverclyde’s largest business network.
Since the opening in 2014, Belville Community Garden Trust has cemented its status within the community as a central food growing hub, organising, and coordinating community groups and schools in growing projects, focusing predominantly within the East End of Greenock which has now extended across the whole of Inverclyde.
The charity also coordinates local school visits, the John Muir Awards, community arts projects and health-related projects such as the green gyms.
In the recent months, Belville has been at the forefront of the local community response to the Covid-19 pandemic, working in collaboration with Inverclyde Council, Inverclyde Community Action Response Group (ICARG) and other agencies to deliver food boxes across the area.
The business is based at its Gardens headquarters in Belville Street in Greenock and is led by its dynamic and inspirational manager, Laura Reilly, who joined the project in 2016.
On joining the Chamber, Laura said:
“We are delighted to be able to join the Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce, and we have been impressed by the support and offer of support provided.
“The Gardens projects have enjoyed fantastic growth which more recently has played a vital role in our ability to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic locally.
“Our aim from joining the Chamber is to raise further the profile of the Garden amongst both members and the wider business community within Inverclyde.
“We would like to work alongside other business locally to expand our projects and support the push towards a more prosperous and community-led Inverclyde for our residents.”
The Gardens employ five staff working on a range of projects with a strategy to engage local community groups training people in construction skills, food growing and cookery skills.
ICC currently boasts over 15% of the local business base within its membership, and provides regular networking events, national policy and local news updates as well as connecting local organisations to improve their business.
The Chamber has also been pivotal for local firms during the recent pandemic through raising local issues on a national level through its affiliation with Scottish Chambers of Commerce.
ICC President, Gavin McDonagh said:
“We are delighted to welcome Belville Community Gardens as the newest member to Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce, and we wish Laura and her team continued success with their vital projects to support the communities across Inverclyde.
“The Chamber is deliberately striving to expand our offering to more third sector organisations locally that can benefit from a strong membership and collaborative network.
“ICC continues to enjoy a rising interest in membership, and we are proud of our response during the pandemic for both members but also those locally when it was needed most.
“Our door is firmly open to all businesses that want to contribute to the local economy, and we look forward to continued growth in 2020 as we climb towards an economic recovery nationally.”
More information on Belville Community Gardens can be found at http://belvillecommunitygarden.org.uk/.
Businesses interested in joining Inverclyde Chamber and its growing membership can visit www.inverclydechamber.co.uk/membership.