The Empowering Places programme funds locally rooted ‘catalyst’ organisations in six places, over five years to empower communities to develop community businesses. Through the development of new community businesses, the programme aims to provide benefits and opportunities to local people and create more resilient places.
The programme, delivered by Co-operatives UK, resources catalysts with grant funding, money to award seed grant, access to an expert ‘tech lead’ from Centre for Local Economic Strategies or The New Economics Foundation, and access to specialist tailored support from an approved pool of providers.
Over nearly two years, the evaluation has collected data about what is seen to work and what the challenges are for the successful delivery of the Empowering Places programme. This report identifies a number of key strengths and challenges to delivering place-based change within this context.