A NEW social enterprise which specialises in environmentally friendly construction has received a £5000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Building Together CIC was founded by Kirsty Cassels, who was one of 10 social entrepreneurs to receive a share of £48,081 in the latest round of Firstport’s Start It award.

Start It awards are focused on piloting new social enterprise ideas. Budding entrepreneurs can apply for up to £5000 to cover essential start-up costs.

As well as architect Cassels, Building Together CIC was launched by her business partner Robert Thompson as a means of providing communities with functional and ecologically nurturing buildings.

The social enterprise designs and constructs buildings specifically for community use, employs people from the local area and uses sustainable and natural materials as part of the construction process.

It hopes to increase the use of sustainable building methods and reduce the impact construction has on the natural environment, health and wellbeing.

Building Together CIC will invest profits from their construction contracts to educate and train communities in the benefits of greener methods.

They will also offer free consultancy to make the transition to a greener form of development more accessible to communities across Scotland.

Cassels said: “Everyone has been extremely encouraging and helpful and have been instrumental in making the whole process of setting up a social enterprise less intimidating.

“We’re very much looking forward to what the future holds for us. We want to create and nurture communities, teach people new skills to break down the barriers between architecture, construction and the general public, and most of all we want to reduce the impact that construction has on the planet, by using thoughtful and considered design solutions.”

Josiah Lockhart, the chief executive of Firstport, added: “It’s great to see such a well-thought out social enterprise coming through our doors that not only takes a sustainable and ecological approach to design and construction, but brings additional community benefit through skills, training and empowerment. We’re proud to be supporting Building Together CIC, which should be commended for its originality and breadth of impact. We’re glad to be helping them to improve community living in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.”