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Empowering Places is delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with CLES and NEF, with funding from Power to Change

About Empowering Places


Empowering Places is a programme which demonstrates the role that concentrated clusters of community businesses can play in creating better places and reducing inequality in local areas. Funded by Power to Change, the programme is delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with CLES and NEF.

Changing lives for the better

Community businesses – owned and run by local communities themselves – have been bubbling up in neighbourhoods across the country over the last decade. People are coming together to save local pubs, to revitalise local assets and spaces, to give people back control over their housing or their work. Community spirit and action is building. It is impacting on people's lives and keeping wealth local.  

Empowering Places is taking that community participation and impact to the next level. An £8 million programme, it is focused on six local areas and established community organisations in each. These are provided with a mix of grants, support and practical tools they need to be catalysts for new networks of community businesses in their areas.

The theory is great, but the impact of this programme is best told by the people themselves...

Empowering Places - a case study
B-inspired is a charity and trading company in Leicester that invests money back into the community to counter the entrenched socio economic issues that local people face.

There are six participating ‘catalyst’ areas and organisations selected by Power to Change:

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We know it takes a long time to create lasting change. So we’ve made a long-term commitment to a commercially driven regeneration approach in these places.
– Ed Whitelaw. Head of Enterprise and Regeneration, Real Ideas Organisation (Empowering Places catalyst organisation)
Creating a 'square mile of opportunity'
“We want to buy a home on every street, and in every one of those homes have a Community Organiser who works with neighbours to commit to social action that makes their street the best it can be.”
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