Bauxite/alumina producer, Alpart, has granted persons in Manchester funds totalling over $600,000 to expand micro enterprise projects.
At a handing over ceremony at their Knockpatrick facility on Friday (January 15), the company presented cheques to nine recipients.
Public Relations Officer at Alpart, Julian Keane, said that the beneficiaries went through a rigorous process before they were selected.
The projects are located in the company’s operating areas, and were selected on the basis of: encouraging self-reliance; impacting on the communities in the areas of training and employment; and demonstrating management skills.
Recipients of the $600,000 Alpart grant funding, listen to Public Relations Officer, Julian Keane, ( first right). They were at Alpart’s Knockpatrick Manchester facility to receive their cheques.
“It is an economic stimulus programme that came into being since the temporary closure of Alpart. We do hope that the recipients, after receiving their grants, will continue to sustain their micro enterprise businesses,” stated Mr. Keane.
One recipient Lester Burke, who started his goat rearing 10 years ago, said he was pleased with the funds.
“They gave me land to start my goat rearing. This programme is not for the greedy, you have to be qualified for it. As a community, we say thanks for the help,” he told the audience.
Another recipient, Sandra Archibald-Gordon, said she wanted to expand her piggery, and when Alpart started the micro enterprise programme, she applied.
“The team responded favourably, and this is allowing me to use the funding to upgrade my pens and my stock, and to assist other people in the community to do similar projects and to obtain employment,” she said.
Chairman of the Manchester Benevolent Society, Hugh Lewis, said the programme, which had input and monitoring from the Social Development Commission (SDC), is part of the crucial role that Alpart has been playing in the development of the communities.
“I am certain that you will make best use of the funds, and when we come to visit, in another two to three months, we will see vibrant projects that have come out of this funding,” he urged.
In December, Alpart issued cheques to 12 persons in South St. Elizabeth, for other self help projects, bringing the micro enterprise grant funds to $1.8 million.