History of the Workspace Group
Workspace was set up 1985 by some 170 local people (its members) to stimulate social and economic regeneration in the Magherafelt area initially by providing enterprise units, business support services and employability initiatives. We are now regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s leading social enterprises.
Our Mission Statement is “Passionate about Business, Delivering to our Community”. This reflects the social enterprise model that we use – providing a range of commercial ‘business’ activities the surpluses of which are used to partly or wholly fund non-commercial social activities.
Born out of necessity, and the need and desire to do something about the crippling external, economic, political and social factors of the late 70s and early 80s, our ongoing success bears testimony to our vision, determination and will to succeed. Over the years Workspace has been instrumental in the creation of hundreds of jobs; generated previously unthought of business opportunities and energised the community’s self help mentality to create infrastructure that benefits young and old, female and male alike.
We have consulted with our customers, staff, management team and Board for direction as to where they see The Workspace Group going in the next five years to help us determine what our Strategy 2015-2020 should be. Our new vision for ‘A prosperous, dynamic and healthy Draperstown Community’ encapsulates our commitment to our local community and our aims and objectives specified in our Strategy 2015-2020 will ensure that we continue to work towards that vision.
For a more detailed description of Workspace’s work and projects since 1985 download a copy of our “Sustaining Growth, Building the Community” brochure, produced to mark our 25th anniversary.
Workspace is managed by a voluntary board of directors, made up of representatives from business, academia and the statutory agencies. Current board members are:
- Laurence O’Kane (Chairman) – Pharmacy Supplies
- Sam McCloskey (Vice Chair) – Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy
- Cllr Brian McGuigan – Mid Ulster District Council
- Willie McKeown – Yardmaster International
- Patsy McShane – PG McShane Consultancy
- Graham Mawhinney – former Head of Science, Magherafelt High School
- Damian Heron – Heron Bros
- Diarmuid O’Kane – O’Kane Holdings