Social enterprise recognised in LEP plans

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have recognised the important of social enterprise in their plans to spend £5.2bn European funding.

The EU Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme will fund LEPs from 2014 to 2020.

Social Enterprise UK welcomed the news, and has published a new report surveying how LEPs are increasingly addressing social inclusion and supporting SME growth. Of the 39 LEPs in England, 19 are considering social investment as part of their planned activities, the review found.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Through LEPs, this large pot of European funding is going to play an important role in supporting and regenerating communities over the next seven years and social enterprises need to be a part of the plans.

“These findings give social enterprises in each area some knowledge about how and where social enterprise is addressed in the draft strategies to enable them to engage better with LEPs. We can provide our members with more information about what each LEP is planning and put them in touch with relevant local and regional networks.

“What is excellent to see is that LEPs are really recognising the contribution that social enterprises can make in local areas – not only towards achieving their social inclusion objectives but also across key themes like competitiveness, innovation, skills and employment. We look forward to working with our members, local and regional partners, and the LEPs themselves to putting these plans into action.”

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