Communities in Control

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations play a crucial role in delivering services to the public and supporting people in crisis, this is well understood. However, the impact of the work VCSE organisations does that contributes to a more inclusive economy* is often overlooked. This needs to change.

Communities in Control is a week of action, led by GMCVO in partnership with GM VCSE Leadership Group that marks the start of a sustained campaign to build awareness of the part VCSE organisations play in a building a fairer economic model.

The week will showcase practical examples of activity in Greater Manchester that helps to create an economy that is more inclusive of those that have been increasingly left behind and demonstrate how communities can take more control of local assets to benefit many, including those who are disadvantaged.

* We recently wrote a blog explaining what we mean by inclusive economy which you can read here: Blog: What is an inclusive economy?

Please find the programme of events below, taking place throughtout Greater Manchester and online. Please keep checking back as we will update this page with more details and booking links as they become available.

You can also follow updates on Twitter using #CommunitiesInControl

Monday 4th July

13:00 - 15:00


Community Ownership - a key ingredient in a thriving economy?


Chaired by Stuart MacDonald (Director of Research and Operations, Centre for local Economic Strategies), this panel will bring together Anwar Ali (CEO, Upturn Enterprises), Christine Berry (Researcher and Writer) and Graham Whitham (CEO, GM Poverty Action) for a discussion around community ownership as a force for economic inclusion.

Book your place here



Community Garden Open Day

Bury Veterans Hub

An event to celebrate the garden Bury Veterans Hub have created, having taken control of land for the benefit of the community. 

Booking details coming soon

Tuesday 5th July



Garden Tour & Lunch

Manchester Urban Diggers

An event to celebrate the food grown and made on a plot of land within Platt Fields park which Manchester Urban Diggers have taken over and created a community market garden. 

Book your place here

Wednesday 6th July

10:00 - 13:00

Stretford Public Hall, Trafford

Community Ownership in Action

Community Led Homes 

An event to celebrate communities who have taken control of assets in their neighbourhoods and to provide practical guidance, sources of support and opportunities to meet others working towards similar goals.

Book your place here

 2pm - 7pm

Sale West Youth Centre

Resident Engagement

Firs Community Benefit Society

An opportunity for the community of Sale, Trafford to come and see plans for the new build community centre that is planned.

Contact  for information

14:00 - 15:00


Co-designing a GM Community Wealth Hub - a chance to comment on progress so far

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

This online event will enable anyone who is interested in the the GM Community Wealth Hub to join in the co-design.

Join the Microsoft Teams meeting here

Thursday 7th July



Inclusive Employment - Good for Business, Good for Communities

Yes Manchester CIO 

A chance to hear how inclusive recruitment and employment practices - in particular ensuring that local people are part of your team - can benefit both your business and local communities. Also find out about the support out there to help you to do it.

Book your place here



Celebrating  Access to Growth Investees


The Access to Growth fund saw GMCVO invest over £3m into Greater Manchester based social enterprises and trading charities. This is a chance to hear from some of the investees and celebrate their social impact and achievements across Greater Manchester. 

Event for Access to Growth investees only. Please contact for details



Proper Good Bolton: Online Launch


Proper Good Bolton


Individuals who are interested in starting or growing their own business, along with colleagues and supporters from across the voluntary, public and private sectors, are invited to the launch of an £8.25million investment and support programme in Bolton.

Book your place here 



Stretford Mall, Trafford

Open Day

Stitched Up

An Open Day at Stitched Up’s sustainable clothing hub:
- learn about Stitched Up’s Community Benefit Society structure and how you can join
- see case studies from community-led projects including participant-led sewing groups and repair cafes.
- try out clothing repair and upcycling (bring a garment to fix)
- an invite to come back and see the inclusive economy in action, at Stretford Repair Cafe on Saturday 9th July. 

Book your place here 

Friday 8th July



Social Enterprise Celebration

Bolton CVS & Bolton Council 

An event to showcase the impact that Bolton's Fund has had in supporting local social enterprise groups. Hear about about what works, what the challenges are and how up and coming social enterprises can bid for funding in future funding rounds.

Book your place here



Proper Good Business Stockport - Social Enterprise Network

Sector 3

Attend the first Stockport Social Enterprise Meeting to discuss what a social enterprise network in Stockport could look like.

The meeting will also celebrate the launch of the well-deserved 'Proper Good Business' programme (finally) in Stockport!

Book your place here 



Tour of Ancoats Hub

Mustard Tree 

An opportunity to take a tour around Mustard Tree’s Ancoats hub, hear from the organisation’s Freedom trainees and explore the refurbished Community Shop, Food Club and Olive Branch café.

Register to attend by clicking here, or email: or call: 0161 228 7331