Enterprise South West Shropshire
Enterprise South West Shropshire has a broad support remit across the rural south west of the county, which is somewhat remote from the county’s major towns and facilities, supported by a limited transport infrastructure, with intermittent access to broadband connectivity and having levels of employment and productivity that are generally behind those of the wider county.
With its base at Enterprise House in Bishops Castle, ESWS is a long-standing hub for community support, it provides business services, IT training and “walk in” IT facilities, publishing and administration services, and small business units. It manages the Bishops Castle Community Library through an SLA with Shropshire Council and operates Village Outreach whereby staff and equipment are loaned out to businesses and community organisations to support regional events.
"A prosperous and confident South West Shropshire where businesses and communities thrive."
To work in collaboration with local business, community interest groups, service providers and individuals to make South West Shropshire a great place to live, work and prosper.
Our values are borne from our origins and 25 years as a social enterprise company. We exist for the benefit of the people of South West Shropshire.
To succeed we know from experience that we must continue to grow our understanding of South West Shropshire’s population, communities, and businesses, collaborating with local interest groups and continuing to deliver effective services and community support through sustainable working relationships.
ESWS aims to provide the tools, skills and drive necessary to encourage the successful growth of vital community groups and businesses across the region in a way that carries others with them.
We live and work by the standards that we wish to see in the organisations that we support, demonstrating the benefits of partnership working and how we can identify and take advantage of business opportunities to create funds for reinvestment in our own services.
As an organisation, we believe that we must embody the values that represent our community, pursuing opportunities and fairness for all, minimising the environmental impact of our business, and creating opportunities for ESWS’ growth and the creation of subsequent reinvestment funds.
In the early 1990’s, South West Shropshire suffered hugely as a result of the recession. The town’s two largest employers, FarmGas and Walters of Ludlow departed and the local economy looked doomed. A local regeneration project was jointly proposed by South Shropshire District Council and the local Parishes. This was presented to Central Government for large scale funding under their new Rural Challenge Fund.
‘A Lifeline for Bishops Castle’, was born. It was funded to the tune of about £6m, (of match funding and capital/revenue), in order to carryout major regeneration work in the wider area. This would span from Chirbury in the North across to Llanfair Waterdine, Newcastle on Clun, Aston on Clun, Wentnor and Stiperstones. A limited company was formed to do the work. It was called The Bishop’s Castle & District Lifeline Co. Ltd.
The project ran for three years and achieved major results. These included the build and development of three new village halls, the refurbishment of the old Farm Gas and Walters factories and there was a great deal of training and funding for businesses. Local communities were funded to carry out projects such as wildlife ponds, willow mazes, and it also supplied a number of village halls with the equipment they needed to best serve their communities.
The flagship of the project was housed in the old Walters Trouser Factory in Bishops Castle, now called Enterprise House. This has grown and flourished over the years, due to the small, but dedicated and multi-talented team who manage all the work the ESWS is now engaged in.
Here to help you every step of the way
If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you. Send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.