Liverpool city region offers support for ‘socially trading organisations’

new £5m investment and development vehicle to support socially trading organisations, such as social enterprises, was due to launch later this year. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram


A new project to support ‘socially trading organisations’ across Liverpool city region is being brought forward as many struggle with the economic impact of the coronavirus.

In October 2019, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram announced up to £5m to support socially trading organisations (STOs) in the city region via a new investment and development vehicle, led by STOs.

An STO is a business or organisation that sets out to deliver social benefits and trades commercially and includes community businesses, community land trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises, cooperatives and some limited companies, family businesses and local ventures who demonstrate ‘social purpose’.

The Combined Authority has since been working with a founding team, including independent trust Power to Change, to develop the vehicle, which is due to be delivered later this year by a newly-formed collective called Kindred.

However, in response to the current COVID-19 situation, the Combined Authority and Power to Change have accelerated their plans and made an initial £65,000 available to advise city region STOs on business continuity and sustainability planning.

This peer-to-peer advice and support will be immediately delivered through Kindred’s non-financial business support strand, Collaborating Communities, before Kindred’s official launch later in the year.

Mr Rotheram said: “We all need to work together if we are to keep local people and communities safe during the Coronavirus crisis and our socially trading organisations, who are delivering crucial support to our most disadvantaged communities, have a vital role to play. 

“That’s why we have fast-tracked this funding to ensure that these organisations have the tailored support they need to continue to operate during this challenging period.”

Kindred is now directly contacting all of the STOs within its developing network. Anyone from an STO who would like to know more about accessing this accelerated non-financial businesses support available via Kindred should email

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