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Non-profit Making Associations

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 10 February 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which regional development agencies (RDAs) fund social enterprise networks in each county; how much each regional development agency has allocated to such networks in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (315098)

All nine Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have funded a regional social enterprise network covering all counties. It will be for individual Regional Development Agencies to consider what funding will be allocated to social enterprise in the future. The following table illustrates the amount of funding each RDA has allocated to social enterprise networks in their region in the last five financial years. RDAs also fund projects which may indirectly support social enterprise networks: we are unable to quantify this support and therefore it is not included in the data.

Funding (£000)

RDA

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

AWM

0

0

11

318

253

EEDA

62

170

175

160

160

EMDA

1036

1161

535

665

611

LDA

64

0

0

100

207

NWDA1

683

945

1541

737

534

ONE

171

200

190

142

0

SEEDA

0

158

179

145

75

South West RDA

288

245

520

398

278

Yorkshire Forward

0

0

26

89

53

1 NWDA funding for social enterprise programmes is not solely for general network support but includes specifically contracted services and outputs, such as developing procurement opportunities, start ups and growth, developing management skills, training support and promoting awareness of the benefits of social enterprise. It is not possible to isolate the costs of each component. Some programmes include other income such as the European Regional Development Fund.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills by what mechanisms his Department monitors the (a) performance and (b) value for money of regional development agencies in assisting social enterprises. (315099)

The RDAs produce corporate plans setting out corporate objectives and expenditure plans across all major activities including social enterprise. Progress against these plans is subsequently reviewed and reported in the RDA's annual report and accounts. RDAs are also required to undertake impact evaluations of their major projects. That work was recently collected together in a report "Impact of RDA Spending" carried out on the Department's behalf by PriceWaterhouseCoopers which provided an overall assessment of RDAs' effectiveness. The report concluded that RDA expenditure produced economic benefits in all regions.

The Office of the Third Sector's Social Enterprise Action Plan announced £5.9 million for the regional development agencies to March 2011 to improve social enterprise support via Business Link. A formal evaluation of the programme by the Office of the Third Sector has begun, with BIS involvement, and will provide a mechanism to share results across the country, with central Government and with the sector. A report on the early stages of the programme has recently been published on the OTS website:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/cabinetoffice/third_sector/assets/se_action_plan_2006.pdf