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.