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Inclusive growth

Our strategic approach to the economy is to take people out of poverty, to raise living standards and improve lives.

Our activities to achieve this will principally be co-ordinated through the Plymouth Charter and will include:

  • Supporting Community Economic Development Trusts to provide interventions in the most deprived neighbourhoods
  • Tools and support for individuals to innovate to maximise the economic inclusivity including through Social enterprise and co-operative business models, through local buying networks and through social value procurement delivery.
  • Monitoring neighbourhoods and groups with protected characteristics to understand how best to target interventions.

Community Economic Development Trust

A Community Economic Development Trust (CEDT) is community-owned and led, and aims to bring about long-term social, economic and environmental benefits to an area. It aims to encourage local businesses to get off the ground, get residents on the payroll and inspire future community initiatives. Local people are encouraged to become members of the trust and therefore have a stake in the trust and voting rights. A CEDT will create local jobs and improve local services.

There is a long tradition of creating successful Community Economic Development Trusts in Plymouth.

The Millfields Trust

The Millfields Trust is a social enterprise contributing to the regeneration of Stonehouse with 135 business premises covering two sites providing a platform for small and medium size businesses to grow and develop. Their brand new £5 million building 'Genesis' offers 35 business spaces, a virtual office service and hot-desking.

The Wolseley Trust

The Wolseley Trust, formed in 1996, took over the running of the Jan Cutting Healthy Living Centre and Scott Business Park a decade ago. In 2003, Plymouth City Council invited the trust to assist with the redevelopment of the former Scott Hospital site.

The aim was to help achieve economic and health opportunities for the surrounding community with the trust helping to engage local people.

The Four Greens Community Trust

The Four Greens Community Trust (FGCT) is a new trust, serving the areas of Ernesettle, Honicknowle, West Park, Manadon and Whitleigh in the north of the city where there is a high concentration of low wages and deprivation.

Part of the trust's role is to create local jobs, enterprise and training, for an area with traditionally low economic participation. Plymouth City Council has set aside land and property worth around £3 million, which can be used by the community, for the community, and result in a dramatic boost to the economy.

After local stakeholder meetings, a steering group comprising local residents, stakeholders and councillors was set up in 2013 to progress the creation of a new trust. FGCT became a community interest company with a fully elected board including eight local residents, and two local councillors in October 2014.

The trust now has over 140 members. Its first project is the conversion of an empty care home into a business and community hub and HQ for the trust, which has the potential to deliver 22 business units and five incubator business hubs, along with staff to run the building, and 60 jobs over the first two years.

In October 2014, the Council gave the go-ahead for the former Council-owned building to be transferred to the FGCT and awarded the trust £90,000 from its Social Enterprise Investment Fund to appoint a business development manager who will guide the strategic vision and business plan model for the FGCT.

Securing funding worth £1.275 million from the Council in March 2015, the HQ building will provide a mixture of business units to support business start-ups and growth, along with a range of flexible community uses, including potentially two anchor tenants for the ground and first floors.

Start date for construction work is earmarked for September 2015 with a completion date of April 2016. Once operational, it will generate new jobs in a part of the city where employment opportunities are few and far between.

Critical to the success of the FGCT is the ability to generate income and explore investment opportunities that in the medium/longer term will generate a financial return. The FGCT welcomes new members to join them in their mission to turn the north of the city into a destination of choice, where people want to live, work and visit.

A number of planned summer events offer the opportunity to find out more about the work of the new trust. The full members meeting in October 2015 will see the election of the new board of directors. For further information email

Social enterprise investment fund capital and revenue grants/loans

WarningThis funding is currently closed.

The social enterprise investment fund provides a mixture of loans and grants for social enterprises to create jobs and bring redundant buildings back into use in the city. The fund is a mixture of grant and loan. Each investment is assessed on a case by case basis.

The capital loan available will be repayable loans.

The revenue funding available is an individual award of grant between £5,000 and £10,000 for providing business support.

The capital funding is available with each grant/loan amount envisaged to fall within the £15,000 to £80,000 bracket.

What we are looking for

This discrete fund is designed to help social enterprises with limited financial resources establish themselves, and grow with a revenue contribution to provide the backing of high quality business support at the 'project under development' stage and a capital contribution at the project business case stage.

Key benefits

  • provide a bespoke pilot funding programme tailored to promoting the growth of social enterprises
  • create job opportunities through bringing under-utilised buildings and land in the city back into use
  • create new opportunities for young people not in employment, education, training or apprenticeship
  • help with post start support for social businesses that have gone through the Urban Enterprise Programme

Key outcomes

  • the number of sustainable (social enterprise) business plan models created
  • the extent of match funding that will be achieved through applications to external funders
  • the increase in jobs within the sector and number of buildings/land brought back into use
  • value for money for each grant/loan awarded through measuring the above indicators

For more information please email or call 01752 398048.

This fund is for businesses in the Plymouth business rates area only.