Finance Secretary pledges to visit Community Café

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has pledged to pay a visit to local community café, the Usual Place.

The promise was made during a debate in the Scottish Parliament where SNP MSP Joan McAlpine highlighted the café, run by Heather Hall and Linda Whitelaw, as an example of social enterprise promoting inclusive economic growth.

The café will work with the local college to train youngsters with additional support needs for a career in the hospitality industry.

Speaking during the debate, which centred on the success of the Scottish economy, Ms McAlpine said that Scotland has “a considerable track record as a world leader in social enterprise”, with the sector contributing £1.15 billion to the economy, as well as playing a pivotal role in tackling social issues.

Commenting Ms McAlpine said:

“I am thrilled the Cabinet Secretary has pledged to visit the Usual Place.

“Heather and Linda have worked so hard to get this fantastic project off the ground – they are an inspiration.

“Their approach is indicative of the progressive nature of social enterprises, many of which work with the people who are furthest away from the labour market.

“This inclusive approach will ensure the social enterprise sector plays a pivotal role in promoting the Scottish government’s fair work agenda.”

Scotland’s Economic Strategy is underpinned by two mutually supportive goals of increasing competitiveness and tackling inequality.

Speaking during the debate, the Finance Secretary said that “the Usual Place illustrates perfectly the point that the Government is making about the need for emphasis on inclusive growth in the Scottish economic strategy.”

Read the full debate here.

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