Liverpool city region Kindred programme sees £1m invested in 20 socially trading organisations, creating 77 jobs. Tony McDonough reports
Socially trading organisations across Liverpool city region have created 77 jobs after securing £1m of funding under the Kindred programme.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham is hailing the success of Kindred which was set up to support community businesses in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.
This support enabled the organisations to generate additional funding of £10.5m. And the so-called cluster effect has had a wider positive impact in communities such as Birkenhead.
Backed by £5.5m from the Combined Authority and £1m from Power to Change, Kindred was established to support socially trading organisations (STOs) that set out to deliver benefits to the areas in which they operate.
Mr Rotheram said: “Socially trading businesses play a unique and vital role in the local communities they operate in and I’m incredibly proud that our area is a powerhouse of principled, community-focused business.
“Their positive impact can be felt right across the region, accounting for nearly 10% of all jobs and add a whopping £3bn to our local economy.
“The very essence of devolution is taking power away from the centre. I didn’t want to wrestle decision making away from Whitehall only to hoard it in my offices.
“That is what Kindred is all about – working with community businesses to design and develop a programme that would help them deliver on their potential.”
Kindred invested its first £1m in 20 STOs across the city region in spring 2021. The evaluation found that, collectively, the 20 STOs nearly doubled their number of employees from 81 to 158.
Their combined turnover also doubled from £1.88m to £3.76m and they attracted a further £10.5m of additional investment. Investment in five STOs in Birkenhead created a cluster effect that is helping transform the town.
The socially-trading sector employs 50,000 people, one in 10 of the city region’s workforce, with 1,300 STOs generating £2.9bn per year for the city region economy.
STOs in Birkenhead were awarded £12,000 in development awards in a pre-Kindred pilot in 2017.
Four years later, in spring 2021, five Birkenhead-based STOs – Make Hamilton, Future Yard, Open Door Centre, Hype Merseyside, and Grow Wellbeing – collectively received 20% of Kindred’s first round investment, around £200,000.
Those five STOs have since created 50 new jobs in the town, increased their turnover by £1.3m and attracted £9.4m in additional funds.