11 December 2007,

£20,000 donation and new home an early Christmas present for local community group

£20,000 donation and new home an early Christmas present for local community group

A community group based on the Bull Farm estate in Mansfield has got a cash injection - and a new address - from a local business. North Nottinghamshire Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Company, a public private partnership set up to modernise medical and social care centres across the north of the county, has given 'Buddies' a helping hand to expand into new premises.

The team at the company came to the rescue when it heard the community group, local to its new Bull Farm Primary Care Centre, urgently needed extra space to increase the number of activities it offers to Bull Farm estate residents ranging in age from the under fives to senior citizens.

North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company has provided Buddies with the old Bull Farm Surgery building on Chesterfield Road North in the town, left vacant since its £2.8m Bull Farm Primary Care Centre recently opened nearby.

The LIFT team has also persuaded affiliated company John Laing to donate £20,000 from its John Laing Charitable Trust to cover the cost of the refurbishment of the building, so it meets the needs of Buddies and the local people who will be using the new centre.

Building work has already started on converting the old premises, and is running to schedule. It is hoped Buddies will be able to move into their new home early in the New Year. The existing Buddies base at 43 Peel Crescent, Bull Farm in Mansfield will still be open for business.

Peter Jones, general manager of North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company says: "We are proud to be supporting Buddies and the desire to develop further the impressive services it provides to the local community. North Nottinghamshire LIFTCo and John Laing have been very impressed by the dedication and effectiveness of Buddies, both in terms of the services and activities provided and the dedication and commitment of the volunteer staff. We have no doubts this donation will allow the group to expand the range of activities offered to local people, providing the opportunity to benefit from valuable community facilities for generations to come. We're also very grateful to our colleagues at the John Laing Charitable Trust for their generous support to help bring this aspiration to fruition."

Ellen Colley of Buddies adds: "We want to say a big thank you to both North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company for its support and John Laing Charitable Trust for its generous £20k donation to make this new community centre a reality. We're very much looking forward to running more activities from our new base as soon as possible such as exercise classes, training courses through West Notts College along with youth activities."

The renovations are being overseen by Primary Plus, the joint venture company between John Laing and Bank of Scotland Corporate which funds North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company.

North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company is also helping Buddies identify further grants to help them raise more funds in the future.

The project launches Primary Plus's 'helpURself' corporate social responsibility programme.

The Buddies community group in Mansfield are already benefitting from the Primary Plus corporate responsibility initiative 'helpURself'. Pictured left to right: Primary Plus finance director Carole Reed; Buddies volunteers Mick Beresford, Mandy Beachus and Roy Chapman with North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company's general manager Peter Jones.

For further information, please contact:
Jo Garner, PR Consultant, North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company
Tel: 0116 263 4945
Mobile: 07979 800 897
Email: Jo.Garner@primaryplus-online.co.uk

Note to editors:
LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) is a government initiative to supplement investment in primary and community premises, some of which are in real need of modernisation.

This is being achieved locally through:
North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company Ltd, a public private partnership that is owned by private sector partner Primary Plus Ltd, two local primary care trusts (Nottinghamshire County and Bassetlaw) along with the Department of Health's Partnerships for Health. It was set up in 2005.

Seven North Nottinghamshire LIFT buildings, in Rainworth, Harworth, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Mansfield, Warsop, Balderton and Retford have recently been completed.

More information is available at: www.nnlift.co.uk

Primary Plus Ltd is a joint venture company established by Bank of Scotland Corporate and a subsidiary of John Laing Plc to participate in the Government's Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) scheme.

Established in 2002, Primary Plus and its supply chain brings together some of the UK's leading health and social care sector specialists with a team of experts in development, management and funding of public private partnerships (PPPs).

Capital works projects currently being undertaken by Primary Plus on behalf of the Nottinghamshire LIFTCos include:
A £1m GP surgery conversion at Ashfield Community Hospital for Nottinghamshire County Teaching PCT, due to be completed in February next year.

A £300k relocation of modular buildings for Colwick Vale GP practice in Nottingham for Nottinghamshire County Teaching PCT, due to be completed this Autumn

Primary Plus is also the majority shareholder in six operational LIFT companies and has invested £280m to date commissioning over 40 state-of-the-art medical and local authority centres across the Midlands and the North West:

Leicester LIFT Company
Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company
Greater Nottingham LIFT Company
North Nottinghamshire LIFT Company
Sandwell LIFT Company
Manchester, Salford and Trafford LIFT Company (one of the largest in the country)

More information is available at www.primaryplus-online.co.uk

More information about the Primary Plus Corporate Social Responsibility scheme helpURself is available at: www.helpurself.co.uk