Swings, roundabouts, setbacks and rollercoasters. As anyone who’s ever run a small business or social enterprise knows, there are plenty of ups and downs along the way. That’s why CEIS offer quality enterprise support when and where it’s needed.
As well as short and medium-term projects, some of our work has seen us building long-lasting relationships with clients, supporting them in a variety of ways on their own business journey, through good times and bad.
One such relationship has seen us working with the volunteer trustees at Knightswood Community Centre for the best part of a decade.
Back in 2010 when CEIS first came into contact with Knightswood Community Centre, it was already one of the busiest in Glasgow, offering an impressive programme of services and activities. It was also the first Glasgow Life-operated venues to be the subject of a Community Asset Transfer request to City Council.
The whole concept of asset transfer was relatively new at that time, and despite being unsure where to start, the Centre’s board was keen to explore any potential community benefits to be had from the scheme. That’s where we stepped in. Thanks to a recommendation and some lottery funding, CEIS were contracted by Knightswood to undertake a community consultation and develop a business plan for the operation of the Centre under community management. Back then, it was a relief to the Centre’s board to have expert support.
“We didn’t know where to start but Kevin Smith from CEIS was reassuring, methodical and proactive from the very start,” notes Allen Lindsay, Chair of the Board. “Not only did he and team do a very thorough consultation and business plan but when we then asked them to help us look at what else we needed to do to make the project a success, we did so knowing they would be honest and affordable.”
An important part of CEIS’s work with Knightswood was a governance review, working with the board to ensure they would be able to manage both the legal and practical elements of running the centre. CEIS facilitated several sessions with the Board to ensure they understood their new role, rights and responsibilities.
Ahead of the formal transfer CEIS Adviser Kevin Smith worked in close partnership with the Knightswood board to create a transition plan which detailed the key steps, processes and activities required. The whole process took a long time, but thanks to the in-depth preparation the final transfer of ownership was seamless, and painless.
“The asset transfer itself was an arduous process with no roadmap of the route it would take.” Allen Lindsay remembers. “Thankfully, CEIS took a leading role, managed relationships, gave us clear and concise advice, supported us to make informed business decisions, and made sure we still felt like we were in control.”
Over the last 8 years CEIS has continued worked with Knightswood Community SCIO on several other projects including guidance on legal structure and on development of a promotional marketing plan. Allen is delighted with the ongoing strength of the relationship.
“Without CEIS I don’t know where we’d be. There is no other organisation I would turn to. Every adviser we worked with has been an expert, professional but accessible. I am delighted to recommend CEIS to any other groups considering asset transfer or looking for more general business support.”
For CEIS Adviser Kevin Smith, the benefits of this collaborative approach are clear, “Our experience of working with Knightswood Community SCIO demonstrates that complex projects don’t have to be complicated, if they are broken down into a series of manageable tasks, delivered over a timeline dictated by their successful achievement rather than by an arbitrary deadline.”
“Working with a client over an extended period ensures that the right support is provided by business advisers with the right skills, at points in time that suit the needs of the client and the project.”
Contact Knightswood Community SCIO /www.knightswoodcentre.co.uk / Tel: 0141 959419