A CHARITABLE organisation responsible for managing the majority of leisure centres and libraries in Flintshire has been shortlisted for an award.

Aura Leisure and Libraries has been named a finalist in the ‘consumer facing social enterprise’ category at the UK Social Enterprise Awards.

Aura will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s Guildhall on December 4.

The awards, run by Social Enterprise UK (the national membership body for social enterprises), recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises.

Aura is owned by its employees and operates for the benefit of local communities.

In the last year it has invested £2.4 million in its leisure centres in Mold and Flint with more than 1.5 million customer visits recorded across the company’s portfolio.

Paul Jones, Aura’s business improvement and performance manager, said: "Aura is thrilled to be shortlisted in the category of best consumer facing social enterprise at the upcoming UK Social Enterprise Awards.

"The company has only been trading since September 2017 so to be recognised on a national scale for the work we do in sustaining and improving leisure, library and heritage services in Flintshire is fantastic and gives us huge encouragement for the future.’’

There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £60 billion to the UK economy, each one being set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face from homelessness to climate change.

Previous winners have included a coffee company set up to create jobs for people who are homeless, an employee-owned community health care provider and a company set up to tackle funeral poverty.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Every year the standard of applications for the UK Social Enterprise Awards gets higher and higher.

"At a time when public confidence in business is at a low and when we are facing crises - both political and environmental - this year’s shortlist shows how business can be used to build a better world.”