All smiles for new dental centre

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A dental centre for Cornwall, specifically designed and adapted for patients with special requirements including physical and mental health conditions, is set to open this spring after a £1 million investment from Big Issue Invest (BII).

Resonance, a social impact investment company, with a head office in Cornwall, worked with Smile Together as advisers on the investment raise.

BII, the social investment arm of The Big Issue, provided investment to Smile Together CIC, a local employee-owned social enterprise in late 2018. The investment is helping to finance the refurbishment of a former Bodmin grammar school into a purpose-built dental centre for the community.

The opening of the centre will increase access to emergency, specialist and routine dental care, and provide enhanced access and facilities for all patient groups. An adjoining part of the building will eventually house other local businesses, promoting further financial sustainability for Smile Together.

Smile Together currently operates from 13 sites across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and treats over 40,000 patients a year.

MD, Paul Critchley, said: “After launching as an employee-owned dental social enterprise and community interest company in 2016, one of the things our team felt passionately about was enhancing our clinical environments and treatment options for patients – to improve our dental services, exceed patient expectations and enable everyone to deliver above and beyond what we’re commissioned and contracted to do.

“Having bought this wonderful building, we consulted with patients, commissioners and local contractors, and together developed our plans. We are therefore pleased and proud to have secured this investment funding from Big Issue Invest which will help us realise this unique shared vision for dentistry in Cornwall.”