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110 jobs boost for the Atlantis

PUBLISHED: 16:54 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 03 July 2010

Jobs boost: The Atlantis Arena.

Jobs boost: The Atlantis Arena.

GREAT Yarmouth's landmark Atlantis Arena is at the heart of a £6.5m jobs and skills bonanza as Britain's first social enterprise leisure complex.

The pioneering scheme was this week given a massive boost by the Government's Future Jobs Fund whose handout means 110 new posts across a range of skills can be advertised from today.

GREAT Yarmouth's landmark Atlantis Arena is at the heart of a £6.5m jobs and skills bonanza as Britain's first social enterprise leisure complex.

The pioneering scheme was this week given a massive boost by the Government's Future Jobs Fund whose handout means 110 new posts across a range of skills can be advertised from today.

The project is described as “revolutionary” by The Grow Organisation, the social enterprise that took over the complex on June 1 after months of negotiations, giving it an ethical edge.

Its funded employees will help refurbish and adapt for disabled visitors the redundant 66-bedrom hotel within the complex in a scheme that will pump at least £2m a year into the local economy.

Already 20 jobs have been created by the Hospitality and Grow project which will see every penny generated by the slot machines, Caesars Bar, the Tower and other aspects of the popular complex ploughed back into jobs and skills.

The significant boost aims to revitalise the seafront and help young people aged between 18 and 24 who have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for at least six months, offering work experience, training and a regular wage.

Overall it is anticipated that over 500 jobs will be created.

Other projects include a development of 10 new homes in Cobholm and a recycling scheme working with PVCU plastic that has already created 40 jobs and hopes to generate 100 more.

The Recycle and Grow project at Southgates Road has already won a £5m contract for Yarmouth with the largest window manufacturer in the UK. The project is said to be unique and to have the potential to become a world leader.

Trevor Lynn director and co-founder of the multi award-winning Grow Organisation said: “The organisation exists to grow people who have lost hope. We started small in Lowestoft with a van and a single contract to cut grass. The problem Great Yarmouth has is that 32pc of jobs are in leisure and tourism so we are helping to up-skill people in that industry and bring other skills for the off season.”

Visitors to the Atlantis will not notice any immediate difference, although staff will be wearing Grow uniforms. Training and work opportunities will continue long after the hotel re-opens in up to two years time.

For more information visit www.thegroworganisation.org.

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