New chair appointed to the innovative partnership-led Bristol Local Access Programme

Innovative local partnership, the Bristol Local Access Programme (LAP), created to develop stronger and more sustainable social enterprises in Bristol, has appointed former chair of both Investing for Good and EIRIS Sally Britton, as its new independent chair.

The LAP has played a significant role in supporting the growth of social enterprises in the city since its inception in 2021, providing around £2.5m funding in the form of small grants, repayable loans and business support to around 130 locally based social enterprises. Last month it announced a second round of funding and support, injecting a further £1.3m into the sector over the next 12 months.

Sally brings a huge range of experience working for not-for-profits, global NGOs, charities and social enterprises, and profit-with-purpose organisations including locally-based East Bristol Youth Housing Association (now 1625 Independent People). She has worked across areas including housing support, human rights and labour rights, and in multiple sectors including finance, media and the FMCG sector with experience in strategic leadership, governance and external relations.

Most recently, she spent seven years as chair for Investing for Good, a CIC which aims to channel socially motivated capital at scale into impact-driven organisations for social impact.

Sally says: “The impact of the Local Access Programme in Bristol to date has been significant, supporting around 130 local social enterprises who, without it, may not have had access to investment and support.

“It has a fantastic partnership of leading organisations driving it, and I’m excited to be joining them and bringing my own experience to the programme. There are so many worthwhile social enterprises tackling key issues in the city and delivering positive change, so I’m looking forward to supporting the impact of this second round of the programme.”

The Local Access Programme was established, with funding from Access: The Foundation for Social Investment, to address the challenge faced by social enterprises in securing traditional investment by fostering more equitable access to finance.

It is managed by award-winning impact investment experts BBRC (Bristol & Bath Regional Capital) and underpinned by a partnership of five local organisations bringing a combination of expertise and support: Black South West Network, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Voscur, ACH and Street2Boardroom.

The programme works by creating bespoke investment packages comprising affordable repayable finance, small grants and tailored business development support and training. Its flexible and dynamic approach is tuned to the unique needs and growth trajectories of the individual enterprises.

Now after recently receiving a second round of funding, it will see £1.3m injected into the sector in the next 12 months.

Ed Rowberry, chief executive of BBRC and spokesperson for the LAP, says: “We are delighted to welcome such an experienced chair and someone who understands the sector to lead and advise the LAP as it embarks on its second phase.

“Sally’s expertise will be invaluable for our decision-making and future direction, helping to ensure that we continue to build on the successes and momentum we’ve gained in the last three years.”

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