The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has awarded funding £1.25m towards creating three social enterprise hubs in the county. These social enterprise hubs will support the growth of social entrepreneurship and boost the social economy ecosystem across market towns and rural areas. SEEE is the Combined Authority’s delivery partner for this funding stream in the second phase of the Market Towns programme and is delighted to award funding to three strong Social Enterprises;

“SEEE is delighted to announce that People and Animals UK CIC, Allia Ltd and Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network Ltd (Trading as REMO) have received funding through this programme. The hubs will be at the heart of their market town and provide the resources to enable brilliant ideas and individual talents to turn into social enterprises. SEEE believes social enterprise is one of the best ways to effect positive economic, social, and environmental change; it’s a sustainable way to shape our world for the better for the benefit of the whole of the community.”

Deb Lee, Managing Director, SEEE

People and Animals UK CIC were awarded funding for their work at Wisbech Community Farm.

We are so excited to be able to work with SEEE on this innovative project for our local community. Delivering outreach Animal-Assisted Interventions supports adults access community support so they can overcome challenges to their mental health. Our approach to community development has quickly evolved as an essential service for all ages. This funding helps us to take the next step with our aims to more regularly share our learnings to support the growth of local enterprises, empowering local people and organisations to sustainably offer their solutions to local need, whilst facilitating a wider network of opportunities to the community.”

Katie Bristow, Director of Operations, People and Animals UK CIC

Allia will develop the former Papworth Printworks building in Cambridgeshire village Papworth Everard to provide a much-needed base to support the growth of local social entrepreneurs and small businesses. The building will provide a café, microbrewery and pizzeria to create a vibrant social base for the local village as well as a business workspace for growing social enterprises from across the wider community of Cambridgeshire. David Broach, Director of Allia Future Business Centres said:

We are delighted to be able to announce this exciting project, creating a social space that will bring much needed facilities to the village of Papworth, as well as a workspace that will support entrepreneurship, the development of existing and new social enterprises and create employment and training opportunities. We look forward to working with local partners, SEEE, the CPCA and the wider community as we work toward bringing our vision for the space into reality in 2024.”

David Broach, Director of Allia Future Business Centres

Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network Ltd (trading as REMO) will be purchasing buildings to expand their Eco Hub;

“We are delighted to have been selected to be awarded the funding we need to purchase the buildings for The REMO Eco Hub in March, Cambridgeshire. The Eco Hub will offer support and start-up premises for Fenland based Social Enterprises as well as co-located retail opportunities to help local residents access affordable eco products and services. Together we aim to accelerate an equitable transition to a Circular Economy which will be good for people’s pockets, purses and the planet.”

Nikki DiGiovanni – CCORRN / REMO Development Director

Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson said:

Our Combined Authority’s Market Towns programme is about getting grants to this kind of people-centred initiative – one that creates grassroots growth and builds resilience in the heart of our communities, fostering imaginative ventures that can help villages and towns to flourish, evolve, and attract more human-scale businesses that will encourage sustainable development and make lasting change.”

SEEE will now be working with the three social enterprise hubs to follow their progress and social impact whilst also developing a pipeline of future social enterprise initiatives. SEEE is also working with those who enquired to the fund along with unsuccessful applicants to support their business aims and assisting them with finding other sources of funding.

About the Funding

CPCA Market Towns Programme (Phase 2) – Supporting Social Enterprises in Rural Areas
In July 2020, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) allocated £13.1m capital investment to mobilise eleven market town masterplans to support interventions in each of CPCA’s main market towns and to act as a funding catalyst to securing additional investment. This £2.5m fund is a continuation of that effort to tackle the long-standing challenges surrounding market towns over the next 2 years, with a particular focus on strengthening local communities and supporting the Social Enterprise ecosystem. The Programme looks to build on the first Market towns funding but with a particular focus on targeting this capital spending on people-based initiatives – including community owned businesses, social enterprises, and educational support.

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