Posted: 20th December 2010
The Exchange, 48c High Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1AN
The Gloucestershire Social Enterprise Centre planned to renovate, restore and revitalise an old stone building in the centre of Stroud, called The Exchange, to provide workspace for the local community. The Exchange is an 1830s building and once housed Stroud's first all girls school.
In need of some tender loving care, the building needed modernising to ensure that it used as many of its own resources as possible, becoming much more environmentally friendly.
Fully refurbished, it now provides affordable workspace and meeting facilities for micro-businesses, social enterprises, community groups and charities.
It has also become one of the greenest buildings in central Stroud, with ground source under-floor heating, photovoltaic panels generating electricity and solar panels heating the water. Also the most accessible building in Stroud, it now has a full range of facilities to cater for every orm of disability.
The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust provided invaluable financial support which aided the full restoration. This was supplemented by other local and national funders, local lenders and a loan from Charity Bank.
Clare Mahdiyone, Manager of the Gloucestershire Social Enterprise Centre, said: "The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust's support enabled us to get the ball rolling with the project early on, giving us impetus and leverage with other funders and supporters."