Shadow minister unveils first Social Enterprise Town

Shadow minister unveils first Social Enterprise Town
Civil Society, by Kirsty Weakley

Gareth Thomas, shadow minister for civil society, yesterday unveiled the UK’s first Social Enterprise Town in Cumbria.

Alston Moor has one social enterprise for every 55 households and was the recipient of the social enterprise town award at Social Enterprise UK’s awards ceremony last year.

The Social Enterprise Towns project is a pilot being run by Social Enterprise UK as part of its places project. To gain the social enterprise status towns need to have significant social enterprise activity, have created a stakeholder group (which includes at least one member of Social Enterprise UK), and commit to measure, support and grow social enterprise.

Thomas said: “Alston is providing inspiration for towns and cities around the country. It’s showing citizens and government organisations what can happen when economic power is in the hands of the people.”

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Alston Moor is a prime example of what enterprising communities can achieve in times of hardship, and it is testament to the grit and determination of local people that we are here today. We hope to see many more towns and cities celebrate their social enterprise status.”

Towns and places that are accorded social enterprise status will be given badges like the one below to display their status.