Social enterprise secures funding to develop environmentally friendly architecture across Scotland


Building Together CIC, a new social enterprise that designs custom built, eco buildings, has received £5,000 in Firstport’s most recent Start It awards round. The grant was awarded from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Building Together CIC’s founder Kirsty Cassels was one of 10 social entrepreneurs to receive a share of £48,081 funding in the latest round of Firstport’s Start It award. Start It awards are focused on piloting entirely new social enterprise ideas that are yet to get off the ground. Budding entrepreneurs can apply for up to £5000 to cover essential start-up costs.

Building Together CIC was started by Kirsty, an architect by trade, and her business partner Robert Thompson, as a means of providing communities with functional and ecologically nurturing buildings. The social enterprise designs and constructs building specifically for community use, employs people from the local area, and uses sustainable and natural materials as part of the construction process.

Alongside the benefits of having a custom built, environmentally friendly community building in the local area, Kirsty and Robert will invest profits from their building contracts to educate and train communities in the benefits of greener building methods. They will also offer consultancy, free of charge, to make the transition to a greener form of development more accessible to communities across Scotland. Through developing their social enterprise, they hope to increase the use of sustainable building methods and reduce the impact construction has on our natural environment, health and wellbeing.

Kirsten Cassels, founder of Building Together CIC said: “Everyone has been extremely encouraging and helpful and have been instrumental in making the whole process of setting up a social enterprise less intimidating. We’re very much looking forward to what the future holds for us. We want to create and nurture communities, teach people new skills to break down the barriers between architecture, construction and the general public, and most of all we want to reduce the impact that construction has on the planet, by using thoughtful and considered design solutions.”

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: ““It’s great to see such a well-thought out social enterprise coming through our doors that not only takes a sustainable and ecological approach to design and construction, but brings additional community benefit through skills, training and empowerment. We’re proud to be supporting Building Together CIC, which should be commended for its originality and breadth of impact. We’re glad to be helping them to improve community living in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.”

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