Decision details

Decision details

Grant award for strengthening the local Social Economy programme

Decision Maker: Executive Director (Development)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Cabinet, on 19 October 2022, (agenda item 10: ‘UK Shared Prosperity Fund Indicative Investment Plan’) approved the Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) investment plan and resolved to:

2.   Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Development) to take the necessary decisions and actions to oversee the UKSPF investment plan, including implementing and administering the scheme and the resulting projects in accordance with the requirements and priorities of the prospectus and fund.


To direct award £35,100 of revenue grant funding to OSEP CIC to work with other local partners on the delivery of outputs and outcomes supporting the Council’s UKSPF investment plan under interventions E11: Capacity building & infrastructure support local groups and E26: Growing the local social economy.  The funding has been allocated from an overall UKSPF revenue budget of £86,993 for 2023/24.

Reasons for the decision:

The decision provides funding to support the aims of the Council’s UKSPF Investment Plan through the provision of:

-       Direct support for grass-roots community businesses and community entrepreneurs, and those using enterprise to have a positive impact on the local economy, society, and environment; and


-       Research and feasibility study proposing the establishment of a more accessible and blended finance model for socially trading organisations.


The project will report against UKSPF outputs and outcomes, including the number of:


a)      social/local businesses receiving non-financial support

b)      potential entrepreneurs provided assistance to be business ready

c)       people attending training sessions

d)      socially excluded people accessing support 

e)      organisations receiving non-financial support

f)        facilities supported/created

g)      feasibility studies created.


These partners have strong relationships in target communities, and sector specific expertise. The grant award supports the delivery of UKSPF outputs and outcomes and supports the shared aim of growing the local social economy.


Officers assessed that direct awarding the grant to local partners through a collaborative co-production process rather than a competitive tender would better address the strategic need to maintain and grow capacity in the local social economy support system. The collaboration leverages match funding from the partners, further enhancing the value for money proposition.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1: Commission support packages through a national social economy support body.  This was rejected due to the need for support to be relationship based and locally embedded. 

Option 2: Commission support packages through a local business support provider.  This was rejected due to the need to the focus on ‘social’ economy and the need for sector specific expertise and tailored support.

Signed off by senior officers:

Decision taken by Tom Bridgman, Executive Director (Development).

Publication date: 08/02/2024

Date of decision: 06/02/2024

Accompanying Documents: