Manchester Urban Diggers applied to the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) to renovate an old building to provide professional catering facilities and an onsite café.
Manchester Urban Diggers (MUD) is a non-profit social enterprise that addresses local food system challenges in Manchester. Through advocacy for food sovereignty, providing volunteering opportunities and developing projects, growing food and putting on events in Platt Fields in the south of Manchester, MUD strives to enhance the local community’s access to fresh and nutritious food.
Over the past five years, this community market garden has experienced rapid growth and development. From growing a range of produce including fruits, vegetables and herbs to creating meals in the MUD kitchen, a temporary structure until they finish renovation of an old building on site which will become their permanent catering space.
(EDP’s) workshops have been the best of any programmes we have been on. They’ve been good and a really striking part of the programme. The funder has also been very relaxed in terms of what we can spend our funding on (to help develop our enterprise idea)”
Founder of Manchester Urban Diggers
How we helped
The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) has provided Manchester Urban Diggers with support in the form of consultancy and peripatetic financial support alongside a £30,000 grant. MUD have been working with consultants and received financial support to help develop their business plan, ensuring a strategic roadmap for its future endeavours. From the application process through to project completion, MUD have had access to expert trainers from who have been able to provide support, allowing them time to dedicate to development of the organisation so their ideas and aspirations could become a reality.
The EDP’s structured approach, consisting of clear milestones has played a pivotal role in giving the small organisation the opportunity in setting achievable objectives, and implementing an effective structure that instils motivation and propels Manchester Urban Diggers towards a financial sustainable future.
What was the outcome?
Through the EDP programme, Manchester Urban Diggers has been able to start renovations on turning an old on-site building into a purpose-built space to facilitate professional catering and a café. With this new space, they will be able to increase opening hours, provide more meals to the public. They are also looking to diversify their income and trading avenues within their site including events including food & drink festivals, offering the space for hire for weddings, increase training opportunities, as well as providing catering services once the kitchen has been completed in June 2023.
With this they have been able to employ a Head Chef alongside their current chef, so they have more capacity to focus on other areas of business including their pottery classes. Other future aspirations for MUD include building an orangery style indoor seating area for their new kitchen to help them continue their work as local assets.