Supporting community business
In the North East
The Wharton Trust, one of the earliest grantees in the region, is one such anchor organisation who, as part of the Empowering Places programme, has really evolved its approach in Hartlepool to become more commercially minded over the years.
Through their wealth building work with the local authority and their willingness to engage with issues and organisations outside of the ward they serve, they are building an infrastructure sector that can catalyse and nurture the community to be proactive in seeking their own solutions to local problems, or gaps in provision, using the community business model.
Increasing social investment
Power to Change also funds Tees Valley Community Foundation alongside the Wharton Trust to provide a pipeline programme to support early-stage community businesses ideas. They, together with lots of other partners, are part of the Local Access Redcar Cleveland and Hartlepool programme, which builds on this further by increasing opportunities for social investment.
Further funding from Power to Change is enabling the Wharton Trust to buy 15 houses in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool. Dyke House sits within the top 2% of deprived wards in the UK and is in the lowest 5% for employment rates in the country. The trust will have a social contract with their tenants to be community organisers, and this combination of acquiring assets and building community power is how you reinvigorate hope and potential in under-invested communities.
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