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Coffee aroma fills flagship centres; in association with UK Steel Enterprise.

UK Steel Enterprise's two flagship business centres in Tees Valley are filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee after the Corus subsidiary agreed to back a charity that specialises in helping people with disabilities into work.

UKSE has provided space in its Innovation Centres in Redcar and Hartlepool for the successful Aroma coffee house outlets run by The North East Centre for Independent Living (NECIL). With more than 80 thriving businesses housed in the two centres, the range of coffees, drinks, sandwiches and cakes offered by Aroma has proved a hit with tenants and visitors.

NECIL, set up eight years ago, works with people from vocational to academic level providing business expertise and support and its five Aroma outlets in the area provide jobs and training for more than 50 people. NECIL employs around 160 people in the North East and 40% of those are people with disabilities or their carers.

"The Aroma business model is proving to be a real success and we are now going national with it and looking at franchising, "said NECIL's chief executive Diane Roberts. "Establishing outlets in a commercial environment like the UKSE Innovation Centres is a real opportunity for us and helps raise our profile in a new area. The free facilities are a great support too as we need to raise pounds 1m every year."

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Nick Johnson of UK Steel Enterprise and NECIL's Diane Roberts enjoy a coffee made by Aroma baristas Carol and Louise at the Innovation Centre, Redcar.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2008
Words:251
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