Key community services have been saved from a beleaguered social enterprise.

The futures of two nurseries, community halls, an older people’s project and a library in Ashbrow are all safe for the time being, according to Andi Briggs, the former executive director for Fresh Horizons which was put into liquidation in March.

The facilities, all run by Fresh Horizons, are now operating under another social enterprise called Local Services 2 You, with Mr Briggs as chief executive.

The news came as Mr Briggs revealed that six Fresh Horizons staff had lost their jobs, although 35 others have now started employment with Local Services 2 You.

The changes were enabled through the support of Kirklees and Calderdale councils who agreed to waive more than £600,000 Fresh Horizons owed to them.

Clr Graham Turner confirmed last month that another of Fresh Horizons’ facilities, the Chestnut Centre, had been saved by being transferred to the social enterprise.

Kirklees Labour member, Clr Graham Turner

“We’ve salvaged a number of facilities,” said Mr Briggs.

“Local Services 2 You was set up in 2011 to complement what Fresh Horizons was doing.

“The Top Club, the laundry, the family shop, the project for older people, the Chestnut Centre, two nurseries at the Community House and the Chestnut Centre, Northfield Hall, Ingfield Enterprise Centre, Fartown Village Hall and the library at the Chestnut Centre have all been transferred over.

“We’ve also safeguarded 35 out of 43 jobs. Six jobs were unfortunately lost.”

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The two staff at the Yorkshire Music Library, which was managed by Fresh Horizons, applied for redundancy before the service was handed over to Leeds City Council.

Mr Briggs said that Local Services 2 You has not taken on Fresh Horizons property renovation arm, which turned around 50 long-term empty properties.

“The housing has to go as has the construction side as they were just too big a responsibility for Local Services 2 You,” he said.

The Chestnut Centre in Sheepridge.
The Chestnut Centre in Sheepridge.

“People are still living in the properties but I don’t know what the long-term plans for them are as I have no involvement in that any more.”

Mr Briggs spoke about the future of the facilities.

“Councillors and partners have been very supportive throughout”, he said.

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“It was important for the local community that we safe guarded important facilities but it’s a very challenging economic climate and none of us know, with all the cuts that are happening, what lies ahead.

“But we’ll give it our best.

“There are a lot of lessons we’ve learned from Fresh Horizons.

“A big one has led us to restructure Local Services 2 You into a group format, so if particular elements fail they will not pull the whole organisation down.

“This was a problem with Fresh Horizons, especially concerning the housing area.”