A Ramsbottom pub is toasting more success after winning a top award for social enterprise.
EAT (Employment and Training) Pennines Ltd beat off stiff competition from other North West organisations to scoop a Greater Manchester Skills for Business award in the social enterprise category.
Its founder Glen Duckett — landlord of the Eagle and Child — picked up the accolade at an awards ceremony at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel, hosted by Irish comedian and TV presenter Dara O Briain.
In the midst of the recession, Glen took the boarded-up pub in Whalley Road, which had been closed for 18 months, and developed an award-winning gastro pub that trains and employs dis-advantaged young people.
The company tracks its social impact, supporting the local economy and community, and has created an “Incredible Edible beer garden” from derelict waste ground, now land-scaped and has a polytunnel, hens and flower beds.
Frustrated by the highest levels of youth unemployment and few opportunities for young people, Glen established Eagle and Child and EAT Pennines using his own investment.
Since October 2011, 20 disadvantaged young people have been supported into train-ing and employment, with 80 per cent retention in education, employment or training with EAT Pennines or another employer.
Glen, aged 36, runs the two businesses in tandem with each together.
He and his team have also recently been awarded the catering contract at Heaton Park by Manchester City Council.
As part of the city council’s five-year regeneration plan, EAT Pennines will train and employ at least 60 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds at their new site at The Stables.
Glen said: “I wanted to demonstrate a pub social enterprise model, tackling youth unemployment and providing training to support disadvantaged young people into sustained work.”
“We are committed to building a culture of leadership across the organisation to ensure the staff develop their confidence, capabilities and coaching skills to support themselves and others. The company sources produce and labour locally, delivering an excellent food offer and great service. We have demonstrated that you can run a great business as a social enterprise.” Rachel Shorrock, from Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “Glen has achieved impressive recruit-ment and retention rates.
“EAT Pennines is an accredited training centre, delivering learning from bases in Ramsbottom, Bury and Manchester.
“The fact that this company has doubled turnover in two years tells a story of success.”