Local Access is a joint ten-year place-based investment programme to strengthen local social economies.
Parts of the UK have been continually overlooked and under-invested in. The divergent paths of different parts of the UK are well-documented, with regional inequalities starker than in any comparable large wealthy country. Current structures make it difficult for local organisations to access the support they need to build partnerships for getting resources into the areas that need them.
Together with Access – the Foundation for Social Investment and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we raised an additional package of grant support through dormant accounts to create the Local Access Programme to address these challenges.
Local Access is a joint ten-year place-based investment programme. It offers a package of up to £33 million in enterprise support, grant funding and blended social impact investment to strengthen local social economies, and enable charities and social enterprises in disadvantaged places to become more resilient.
Through the programme’s structured selection process, six partnerships have now been formed involving a range of places across England. Each partnership has developed a shared vision for the growth of their local social economy uniting social enterprises, local authorities and local infrastructure organisations.
The Local Access Programme aims to support the growth and resilience of the social economy in these six places – to ultimately help reduce poverty and inequality, and ensure these communities can thrive. Given the economic downturn following the COVID-19 crisis, this work will be even more critical.