Bespoke Computer Training, Web Design, Internet Access and Public Office Services
From left to right: Ross MacGillivray, Peter Corbett, Catherine MacNeil, Martin Pieraccini, Janet Campbell, Kenneth MacLeod and Richard Laird.
Merkinch Enterprise is our umbrella organisation which covers other provisions such as Fliperz Day Care Centre, free PCF funded community training and our community newsletter, the News & Views.
Founded in 1992, Merkinch Enterprise is a registered charity with the remit of relieving poverty in the Merkinch ward of Inverness.
Merkinch is defined by the British government as an area of high deprevation, and is one of the few areas that qualifies for EEC grants aimed at relieving poverty. Government figures reveal a very high number of single parent families, an equally high elderly population and very high unemployment.
Surveys carried out by the founders of Merkinch Enterprise supported the above conclusions, and concluded that there was a need for a multi pronged strategy in order to achieve the aims of the organisation. Our strategy is based on four threads - attraction of investment into Merkinch, creation of jobs, providing childcare at a reasonable cost and training the local population in skills currently required by employers.
In 1994 local people were given a chance to take part in business planning courses, which led to several viable ideas for businesses that could be set up in Merkinch by the population. From these business plans, three subsidiary organisations have been formed, these being the Merkinch Technology Centre, aiming to bring money into the organisation and area; the Fliperz childcare centre, providing childcare for working parents, or parents undertaking training; and the News and Views community newsletter, distributed free to all households and businesses in Merkinch every month, as well as various organisations throughout Inverness
Currently training for the unemployed is undertaken with funds provided by the People and Communities Fund (PCF). Most of the training is aimed at familiarising people with current technology, and removing the fear that many of them have of computers.