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Reynolds column: Bowled over by brilliant projects

In his latest column, Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds reflects on some of the local projects he's visited in the past week.

My favourite part of being an MP is getting the chance to shine a light on some of the brilliant projects coming to life across the constituency, from small businesses through to community enterprises and more. 

This week I’ve seen some particularly great examples.

First was Industry, a new business occupying a great space in Longlands Mill, Stalybridge, where other enterprises like Gladstone’s Bistro have already found success.

Industry is a fantastic concept. Part easy-book beauty salon, and part innovative co-working space, it prides itself on being a slice of the city in the suburbs, a little forwarding thinking and cosmopolitan jewel right here in our historic town.

The co-working space offers affordable, professional and comfortable surroundings for individuals and teams to both work and network. Plush green leather booths meet relaxed informal table set-ups, with all mod cons and great coffee.

If you work from home or are a self-employed professional, this is the perfect environment in which to concentrate when staring at your own four walls becomes uninspiring. It’s also a great spot to show off Stalybridge for those all important meetings that might lead to great collaborations. 

You can book the co-working space by the hour, or a few weeks or months at a time. No restrictive contracts, ideal for emerging businesses and those seeking flexibility in their working patterns. This is exactly how we really start to ‘level up’ the North, by encouraging our many highly skilled residents to invest their disposable incomes in our characterful towns as well as our city centres.

Secondly, I had a great visit to Newton Cricket Club, and had the privilege of officially opening their newly netted lanes thanks to a £20k grant from the Suez Trust. Newton have been playing cricket here for 100 years.

Sports clubs like this and many others across the borough give young people skills, interaction and exercise, playing a huge role in strengthening our communities. The volunteers behind them are a shining example of service to our neighbourhoods. Thank you all.

Lastly, I enjoyed helping out once more at That Bread and Butter Thing in Longdendale. A brilliant idea that is being rolled out across Tameside and beyond, this affordable grocery scheme means supermarket food waste - whether over-ordered or nearing its date - is turned into high quality bags of food and household essentials, for which users pay a modest contribution. It’s a wonderful project which cuts carbon while easing the rocketing cost of living, and is led by brilliant local volunteers. Thank you, each of you.

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