Cathedral to help businesses

Very Rev David Brindley, dean of Portsmouth Cathedral (left) with Francis Davis, chairman of the Cathedral Innovation Centre, in front of Cathedral House ' the building where the centre will be based.
Very Rev David Brindley, dean of Portsmouth Cathedral (left) with Francis Davis, chairman of the Cathedral Innovation Centre, in front of Cathedral House ' the building where the centre will be based.
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PORTSMOUTH Cathedral has come up with a plan to help the local economy.

A Cathedral Innovations Centre is to be established at Cathedral House, in St Thomas’s Street – behind the cathedral – which can be used by fledgling businesses to develop.

New businesses will be offered a package including desk space, a start-up loan, administrative support and the chance to meet business leaders.

Business people from the area will be invited to act as mentors for new entrepreneurs.

The project is a partnership between Portsmouth Cathedral, the University of Portsmouth’s Business School, and the Joint Venture – a new social enterprise that works with local government and community organisations.

Francis Davis, chairman of the innovations centre, said: ‘We already have a list of those who want to move into the cathedral centre, where there are 14 desks available in the first phase. And we’ve negotiated £225,000-worth of start-up loans from the Parity Trust, a social bank, to share between those firms.’

The plan was unveiled yesterday by Baroness Berridge in a House of Lords debate. It could be expanded to other cathedrals and large churches across the country.