Local Access is a joint funding programme established by Access and Big Society Capital that aims to support the development of stronger, more resilient and sustainable social economies in disadvantaged places.
The aims of Local Access are:
To build strong and sustainable local support systems to underpin enterprise growth and resilience for charities and social enterprises;
To pool and share resources to support more efficient delivery models for investment or interventions;
To promote collaborative or joint access to local pots of funding, incorporating both grant and repayable finance; and
To promote and strengthen local money flows to keep capital within local social economies
Local Access will be financed nationally by £10m of dormant accounts money allocated to Access from the government’s Reclaim Fund, and around £15m of repayable finance provided by Big Society Capital.
In January 2020, Greater Manchester was chosen as one of six places from across England to take the programme forward. Within Greater Manchester, Bolton, Oldham, Stockport and Wigan have been selected as the delivery areas.
The Greater Manchester Local Access Programme wants to mobilise the social economy in places that can benefit most from local economic and social impact. Traditional top down models for economic growth and public service provision have failed to redress inequalities in GM. Investing in a vibrant social economy will be a catalyst for creating sustainable social impact in areas where commercial interests have passed them by.
A spectrum of support will be offered in the four delivery areas ranging from pre-start up through to development and scaling up. Four Local Access Partnership Steering Groups have recently been established in Bolton, Oldham, Stockport and Wigan Borough. The steering groups are currently engaging with a range of local stakeholders to design a bespoke, collaborative and inclusive offer that fills the gaps in support currently offered to social enterprises. The Greater Manchester Local Access Programme will be launched early in 2021.