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This week, Sagle Constructions briefly stopped works on Bedford’s Advanced Manufacturing and Retail Hub development to invite a group of key stakeholders to tour the Salisbury site, currently under construction.

The development of Bedford’s Advanced Manufacturing and Retail Hub in Salisbury marks a pivotal time in Bedford’s 79-year history – a very proud history that has led us to be the second largest employer of people with disability in Australia. We’re so excited to be on the cusp of creating the largest social enterprise site in Australia, in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

It is our mission to create choice and opportunity for people with disability and we are proud to be taking a leadership role with our bold, contemporary and responsive 5-year Strategic Plan, which will see investment of over $50 million in new enterprises, facilities, services and opportunities.

The centrepiece of this Plan is the Advanced Manufacturing and Retail Hub.

Bedford’s five-year plan is a market-making first in Australia, and involves developing a portfolio of commercial businesses that provide a diverse range of open employment opportunities for people of all abilities. These businesses will lead to more career pathways for people with disability, and an opportunity to earn a full award wage.

Over the last year, we have launched three Bedford-backed Social Enterprises, Cultivate Food and Beverage, GreenInc, and Dovetail Advanced Manufacturing, all of which are providing open employment opportunities for people of all abilities.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Retail Hub will span 40,000 square metres, and be home to a third site for Cultivate Food and Beverage and the flagship for Dovetail Advanced Manufacturing. There is also scope for a third enterprise that is still in its feasibility phase.

Set to open in 2025, the Hub will provide pathways into open employment for those who may otherwise experience barriers.

With this employment, there is a cascade of social, financial and health benefits for employees, in addition to the economic benefits that flow through to the government and broader community through increased wages, and therefore income taxes, reduction in Disability Support Pension payments and a reduction in NDIS payments towards supported employment.

The Hub represents a significant, $48.5 million investment being made with our partners Leyton Property and Leyton Funds. Once completed, the site will be one of the largest commercial greenfields developments in the state and the largest social enterprise site in Australia.

The Bedford-backed Dovetail operations will specialise in the manufacture of quality timber products and furniture such as wardrobes, kitchen cabinetry and office fit-outs for consumers and businesses, further strengthening and increase our advanced manufacturing capabilities and capacity. Find out more about the commercial capabilities of Dovetail Advanced Manufacturing here.

The Cultivate operations will provide large contract food manufacturing services and new product development. Full supply chain solutions will be available, including procurement, production, storage, logistics and packaging. Find out more about Cultivate Food and Beverage here.

Everything Dovetail and Cultivate produces at this site will be done with purpose, creating meaningful employment opportunities for people with disability or experiencing barriers to work. And we can’t wait to move in and get started!