Council boost for social enterprises start-ups in Lewes district

Cabinet councillors on June 10 approved £20,000 to develop schemes that encourage new social enterprises to start up in Lewes district.  

The move is part of Lewes District Council’s community wealth building strategy which aims to keep as much wealth as possible in the local economy through the creation of new local jobs and new locally owned enterprise, to ensure a sustainable future.  

Cabinet also agreed to fund a two-year fixed term post to manage the delivery of the strategy.  

Councillor Jonny Denis (pictured), Cabinet member for Communities and Customers, said: “Today’s Cabinet approval for the Re-imagining Lewes District Community Wealth Building Strategy allows us to press ahead with our longer-term aim of developing a district economy that retains wealth locally, is greener and brings more benefits to our residents.  

“A key part of this is supporting the growth of social entrepreneurialism and we are in the early stages of creating a programme to deliver this, including looking at how council assets might assist, and what training could be provided to support start-up enterprises.” 

The council made a commitment to community wealth building in its Corporate Plan adopted in February 2020 and commissioned the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to undertake a study which formed the basis of an action plan to build local wealth in Lewes district.  

The Reimagining Lewes District Action Plan was agreed in December 2020 and an internal board was set up to oversee the delivery of the plan.  

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council and Cabinet member for Finance and Assets, added: “We are now seeking to appoint the right person who can co-ordinate workstreams and build engagement to make our vision of community wealth a reality as we emerge from the pandemic.”