Proceeds from the sale of the former LuDun site in Dunstable have created a new trust fund to help local disabled people with education, training and employment.
Members of Central Beds Council’s executive agreed last week that the council’s share from the sale of the Liscombe Road site be transferred to a partnership between the Disability Resource Centre, based in Dunstable, and the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF).
As a charity, the BCLF are able to apply for matched funding, which means the council’s contribution of £82,263 increases to £123,395.
LuDun was established in the 1950s to provide opportunities for work and training to local people who had disabilities as a result of injuries suffered in the Second World War.
Over time the numbers of people using LuDun declined to such an extent that in 2010 it was decided to close the factory.
By then the service was being heavily subsidised by the council to the tune of some £300,000 a year.
At the end of May 2011 LuDun was closed and the site has now been sold.
Councillor Carole Hegley, executive member for social care, health and housing, said: “The trustees have always been keen that any proceeds of the sale should be used to create a lasting legacy for all local people with disabilities, including ex-employees of LuDun, so this is excellent news.
“I am confident that this funding will have a really positive impact both now and into the future.”
Mick Dillon, chief executive of the Disability Resource Centre in Poynters Road, said: “I’m delighted that the funding has been secured to create the LuDun Trust Fund.
“The new fund is going to give local disabled people a real opportunity to get the advice, training and support they need to find real and meaningful employment.”
The fund will be managed by the DRC, which is run and managed by local disabled people.
While the fund will take a few months to be fully ready, if you would like to find out more about the proposals and to register your interest in the fund, contact the DRC on 01582 470900.