News - 24 February 2015

D2N2 Thanked At Event For Charity’s New Hi-tech Hearing Facility

A new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to helping children and adults affected by hearing loss – built with the help of a £120,000 grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – has had its official ‘handover’ .

The Ear Foundation charity in Sherwin Road, Lenton, Nottingham, supports deaf children, young people, adults and their families in making better use of the latest hearing technologies, to develop communication skills.

Formal ‘handover’ of its latest £700,000 expansion – called SoundSpace – at its Lenton site, has just been completed.

Ear Foundation Staff at the handover of their new Soundspace Facility, Ear Foundation Staff at the handover of their new Soundspace Facility 

SoundSpace will triple the number of people the charity can help (rising to 3,500 annually); double the amount of professional training offered through the Ear Foundation’s family, education and clinical services and research programmes; and will see the number of full-time employees rise from 11 to 18, with other jobs safeguarded.

The Ear Foundation said the new facility would not have been possible without the £120,000 business support grant from D2N2.

D2N2 – the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is supporting the creation of 55,000 new jobs in its area by 2023, with the majority being in the private sector.

It administers a £5million Unlocking Investment for Growth (or UI4G) programme (backed by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund) which provides grants supporting capital investment for projects which directly promote new jobs and skills – such as The Ear Foundation’s new SoundSpace facility.

Dr Sue Archbold, Chief Executive of the Ear Foundation (Pictured Above, Centre), said: “We’re very grateful to D2N2 for the £120,000 grant, which has helped make SoundSpace possible. It helped open doors to other funding and, backed by a sound business plan, was key to giving us the confidence to go ahead.

“The purpose-built facility will make such a difference and enable us to deliver more of our valuable services, and have a positive impact on deaf children, young people, adults and their families.

“Deafness, whether in childhood or adulthood, can have devastating consequences for the individual or family, making communication and spoken language difficult and limiting education and employment options. Yet the hearing technologies we have today can revolutionise the lives of deaf people, if they are given access to them and help to use them effectively.”

David Ralph, D2N2 Chief Executive, added: “Social enterprise and voluntary sector organisations form a vital part of our business community. They provide growing, well-run businesses and real sustainable jobs.

“The business support grants provided through D2N2 are about delivering sustainable jobs, particularly in our key sectors such as healthcare, in which The Ear Foundation works.”

A formal public opening of the SoundSpace expansion will be held on Wednesday April 22.

Applications to UI4G are now closed but, as a result of its activity, D2N2 is now working with business support grant offers to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire worth a total of £1.9million, to help create 170 long-term jobs and pave the way for more.

For more information on this media release or D2N2’s work contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Officer, on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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