We are targeting funding and resources towards places that look ripe for community business with the aim to boost local economies. We believe local people are the best people to shape services which will benefit the whole area. By harnessing the combined forces of all the players in an area, we believe that community businesses can start up, thrive and achieve positive change for their neighbourhoods, helping to reduce the inequalities felt by many communities across England.
In October 2016, we invited a selection of catalyst organisations in places across England that met our criteria to apply for a Learning Grant to develop a deeper understanding of how community business could address the needs of their communities and map local assets and opportunities that could enable new community businesses to develop.
We have now selected seven local organisations to help empower their places; each will receive up to £1 million in funding and support over a period of up to five years. Alongside delivery partners and community businesses these catalyst organisations will help to create more connected and inclusive communities and improve the lives of the people who live there. We also want to demonstrate that, given the right conditions and support, community business can flourish and transform places.
Which places will work in on our Empowering Places programme?
- Bradford (Manningham) with Carlisle Business Centre
- Grimsby (Southward, Nunsthorpe and Bradley Park) with Centre 4
- Hartlepool (Dyke House) with Wharton Trust
- Leicester (Braunstone) with B-Inspired
- Luton (Northwell) with Marsh Farm Futures
- Wigan (Abram) with Abram Ward Community Charity
- Plymouth (Devenport and Stonehouse) with Real Ideas Organisation and Millfields Trust
Empowering Places is one of three new funding programmes with up to £40million to support 15 regional places across England. These are a mixture of regions, cities and wards, some of which we are working in in partnership with Marks & Spencer. The full list of places can be found in our announcement here.