We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Faith Communities — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:16 pm on 29th May 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Conservative 12:16 pm, 29th May 2012

My Lords, perhaps the major contribution needed from our faith communities today is job creation. Alas, I do not mean increased church attendance necessitating more vicars but the new social enterprise, the Cathedral Innovation Centre, being launched this very week by the Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral, the very reverend David Brindley.

The cathedral had redundant good-quality office space, which it agreed to make available for 14 job-creation, start-up businesses at a peppercorn rent. This represents an in-kind contribution of over £50,000 across three years. The centre will offer highly experienced business mentors who are volunteers from Hampshire's congregations, and a micro loan fund from Parity Trust to back the ventures, as well as using the Chancellor's Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme so that taxpayers who back a firm get 50% tax relief. Both Portsmouth Business School at the University of Portsmouth and the Royal Society of Arts have, unsurprisingly, already become partners. If 61 cathedrals in England joined them, the Cathedral Innovation Centre would become a movement, which in the 61st year of the Queen's reign could see more than 600 new businesses created. What a wonderful Jubilee legacy that would be.