After a successful tenure at Bolton’s Commerce House, where ANTZ has created a thriving hub to support businesses delivering community impact, we will shortly be transferring the building back to be managed by its owners the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC).
We have met our goal of establishing a space that makes a difference and as a result, I am pleased the building will be returning to GMCC. The time is right for them to build on what we have achieved and continue to deliver sustainable support for businesses and communities. All the organisations that are based at Commerce House will continue to operate as normal and we are working hard to make sure the transition, due to be completed by the end of July, goes as smoothly as possible.
A key part of the ANTZ partnership model is about using empty space for a commercial and social purpose to drive business and social change. ANTZ took over Commerce House in 2014 when the building was empty. From those inauspicious beginnings, there are now eight organisations working from the building as well as many local community groups using the space. Over 7,500 people a year have been supported just from this one building and its extended services into the community.
ANTZ does not aim to be a service provider for social space, but to support sustainable business models that can be taken forward – and we are delighted that this is what we have achieved at Commerce House.
It also makes sense for me to resign my post as Head of Social Enterprise at GMCC at this point. ANTZ has expanded across the UK and also into the Netherlands and this will give me the time to focus on strategic growth for ANTZ locally, nationally and internationally. More news on some significant new corporate partnerships will follow in the next few months.
We wish GMCC and the wonderful community that has developed at Commerce House all the best and are here to help if they need it. And while we are not in the building we will still support the organisations based there if we can. So if you want to know more about any of the organisations working from Commerce House – such as the charity Speed Of Sight and social enterprises Voice Box or Clarity - please get in touch with John at firstname.lastname@example.org