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Case Study

How Just Enterprise Helped The Pyramid at Anderson to Flourish

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An overhead view of The Pyramid at Anderson

The Pyramid at Anderston is a B-listed building, community-owned since it was purchased from the Church of Scotland in 2019, when it also appointed its first two staff members. It is a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) based in Glasgow. It is undergoing capital renovation and redevelopment but continues to run a for the local community and beyond. This includes flexible spaces which can accommodate events such as film screenings, music performances, exhibitions, and other family, community, creative, learning and wellbeing activities. They also have a community shop, and people can hire the venue for events.

CEIS first supported The Pyramid via their Adapt & Thrive Fund application in January 2021 when CEIS Business Adviser Nina Graham worked with them on their recovery plan. They were successful in being awarded the full fund cap of £75k which allowed them to appoint a Duty Manager, undertake internal and external works and improvements, and upgrade IT facilities. Physical adaptations included upgrades to handwashing and toilet facilities, outdoor spaces, and importantly, to enable full access throughout the building for the first time.

Strengthening Communities Programme

In June 2021, CEIS identified The Pyramid as a good fit for the Strengthening Communities Programme (SCP) after it had proven its ability to respond to the community’s needs as it emerged from the pandemic.

SCP offered The Pyramid the opportunity to consolidate its role as a Community Anchor Organisation (CAO) in Glasgow. The Pyramid made a successful bid that funded the appointment of a Chief Officer to support the voluntary board in managing its growth and development.

The challenge

The Pyramid was growing in scale, ambition and expectation, but without a cohesive understanding of its future strategy and how to approach the opportunities and challenges ahead. There had also been changes in the Board and staff team, and the outcome of various funding streams and applications had an impact on The Pyramid’s aspirations. The organisation needed to focus on increasing the number of trustees and staff to help existing members deliver on The Pyramid’s plans together.

The solution

Nina and Ailsa, the new Chief Officer co-produced half day workshops, one for Trustees and one for staff, facilitated by Nina. These took place in November 2022 and February 2023, and resulted in consensus on the vision, mission and values statements.

In March 2023, Nina facilitated a full away day for trustees and staff to get to know each other, reflect on the findings from the earlier sessions, and agree on bold yet realistic vision, mission and values statements together.

The outcome

The process has helped to support the organisation’s capacity-building during an unsettling time for those remaining after other trustees and staff have moved on. Individuals now have a better understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities and what they need to do to deliver on The Pyramid’s plans.

Reaching consensus on The Pyramid’s vision, mission and values brought clarity to its purpose and these can now be embedded to support stronger governance, as well as more effective and entrepreneurial operation.

Since March, a new staff structure for operations has been agreed that will recognise people’s talents more fully, use resources more effectively, boost job satisfaction and staff development and improve service delivery. The focus has moved to a rights-based approach to building community wealth and wellbeing, with the vision to ‘Make Anderston Flourish’.

They are additionally reimagining their offerings to both residents and visitors, creating many new diverse and exciting possibilities for the space. Examples of these include the launch of Studio Floor and a screening of the film Pandora’s Box with a live score.

We’re excited to see what the future holds for this unique community space.

Testimonial

‘Support from Nina through SCP has helped us to cement our position as the anchor organisation in our community. With Nina’s help, we have been able to successfully clarify and articulate our purpose and plans for The Pyramid, after a period of huge change for the organisation and our community. This has led to a stronger, more resilient team and Board, which is able to embrace the future with confidence and ambition. Nina brought an invaluable mix of encouragement, inspiration and questioning to the process, keeping us enthused and engaged throughout.

It has been a pleasure to work with Nina and Roddy, who have challenged and encouraged us throughout a period that has been transformational for The Pyramid.’

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