Social Economy Development
Since 2004, the Economic Development of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has had a Social Economy Team, working to support the growth of the social economy sector in Merthyr Tydfil. The first initiative was called the ‘Growing Social Enterprise Project’ that builds the aspiration and capacity of potential social enterprises; provides business support, mentoring, advice services and financial assistance to organisations.
Follow up to the Growing Social Enterprise Project is the 'Community Economic Development Programme' - it aims at helping charities, voluntary, and community organisations across the Borough to start develop strategies for moving away from grant dependency toward income generation activities.
Community Economy Development Programme
The (South East Wales) Community Economic Development Programme is a EU initiative with support from the Welsh Government to provide financial support – capital and revenue to organisations operating in the third sector from December 2010 to December 2013. It is a joint sponsor regional partnership between Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Torfaen.
Grant Menu Options
Option A: REVENUE up to £25k - 100% funded
Option B: REVENUE up to £80k - tapered up to 3 years
Option C: CAPITAL up to £50k - 100% funded
Option D: CAPITAL up to £100K - up to 50%
Business Development Support
- Advice & Guidance;
- Mentoring; Specialist Advice, Signposting to other relevant training courses, information and support;
- Opportunity to exchange and share ideas and Best Practice Visits;
- Training and Development initiatives to support and complement the provision of the grant scheme and;
- The long-term sustainable development of organisations in Merthyr Tydfil.
Senior Social Economy Development Officer
Social Economy Grants Officer
Social Enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment.
Like any business, social enterprises aim to generate surpluses – reinvesting the surpluses into the business or in the community to continue supporting their social objectives. Thus they are not driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders or owners.
Social Enterprises operate over many different sectors such as Childcare, Recycling, Health and Social Care, Transport, Sport and Leisure, Entertainment, Arts and Tourism or even running your local shop or pub! They also come in many different forms such as Development Trusts, Credit Unions, Community Businesses, Co-operatives, Social Firms, Housing Mutual’s, or ILM’s (Intermediate Labour Markets).
Social enterprises can make a huge contribute in Merthyr Tydfil to create strong, sustainable communities. They can give communities the opportunity to take ownership and control of much needed local services, help increase local wealth, and provide training, education and employment opportunities for local people.
The Social Economy
The Social Economy is a wider concept that includes the many and varied organisations that work outside the private and public sectors - voluntary organisations, charities, community groups, self-help groups, community cooperatives and enterprises, religious organisations and other not for profit distribution organisations of benefit to communities and people in Wales.
Case Studies – Examples of Grant Recipients
Merthyr Tydfil Credit Union
Merthyr Tydfil Credit Union provides low-cost, high quality ethical financial services for all the people of the Merthyr Tydfil common bond area. It offers safe, convenient savings and affordable loans to those live or work in Merthyr Tydfil. It offers loans to members who save on a regular basis and promotes financial inclusion and responsible use of banking facilities. It works to strengthen community spirit, improve the local economy, create employment and reduce residents dependence on high cost doorstep lending.
Merthyr Tydfil Credit Union was awarded capital grant investment for the refurbishment of its new business property located in Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre, 139 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8DN. Contact : 01685 377888. firstname.lastname@example.org
Trinity Day Care and Family Centre
The Centre offers full and part time childcare and support for families with children that reside primarily in the lower part of the Merthyr Tydfil area.
The Centre was awarded the capital grant investment for the refurbishment of the new building to increase capacity and for revenue grant investment for staff to respond to the increase of children. Contact :01443 693777.
Canolfan a Menter Gymraeg Merthyr Tudful
Canolfan a Menter Gymraeg Merthyr Tudful promotes the use of Welsh on a community level by providing and delivering educational and social activities for all age groups in and around the Borough.
The Centre was awarded a capital grant investment for lighting for the newly built Soar Theatre that houses 250 seats, including a dance studio and music rehearsal room. Canolfan a Menter Gymraeg Merthyr Tudful, Contact :01685 722176 / 373995. email@example.com
Merthyr Tydfil Social Economy Network
The Social Economy Team acts as a secretariat to the Merthyr Tydfil Social Economy Network.
Merthyr Tydfil Social Economy Network is a forum for all forms of groups and organisations involved in the Social Economy in Merthyr Tydfil. The purpose of the Network is to create a successful and sustainable Social Economy sector in Merthyr Tydfil and to provide a strong, co-ordinated voice for the sector.
Membership to the Network is open to any groups from the social enterprise, community or voluntary sector in Merthyr Tydfil.
If you would like to become a member of MTSEN or would just like information about the MTSEN then please contact the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Social Economy Team on (01685) 727021 or 727411.