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Ugly Duckling is a non-profit community interest company that wants to create a vibrant and ethical food hub in Newcastle that’s waste free. The first chapter in doing this is recognising the need to help other grassroots food businesses prosper. Its initial focus is building an accessible, affordable commercial kitchen available for hire, a flexible working space and somewhere to sell local produce. Creating an adjoining flexible office/workshop/showcase space would allow the hub to offer a co-working/educational community space. The minimal space(s) can be transformed for superclubs, workshops and events for hub users. We also imagine it being used for monthly markets, school trips and collaborations with community groups. Ugly Duckling also recognises the value in using food as an engagement tool in a community and so part of the food hub will support and educate in the growth of a healthy, sustainable, inclusive food culture in the city, by the people, for the people.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Since its inception, Ugly Duckling has borrowed kitchen spaces from other organisations which has hugely hindered progress but yet, we recognise we are the lucky ones as without our connections in the food industry we wouldn't have able to get to where we are now. We would like to create a high specification kitchen that is available for affordable hire to eliminate the huge capital costs associated with setting up a food business and allow small companies to prosper in a registered startup space alleviating financial and logistical problems from the outset. We believe in power of sharing resources, knowledge and skills to help others overcome the barriers but also want the space to become a community asset. Running alongside the kitchen will be a free creative workshop program. These will be diverse, exciting and inspiring, awakening untapped skills, strengths and aspirations of the attendees and providing volunteering & potential employment opportunities.
Steps to get it done:
There is nothing currently on offer like this in the North East and we want to use the hub to not only promote the development of small, independent business but promote sustainable catering practices within the hub, from increasing access to local resources, to minimising plastic use all embedded in a zero waste circular philosophy.
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