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LARCH Partnerships

Our Journey

The LARCH programme reflects the local appetite for an ambitious programme to transform the social economies of Redcar & Cleveland and Hartlepool. A development phase of collaborative research, events and engagements with local people and organisations led by VONNE resulted in a bid to the Local Access Fund in 2019.

In 2020 we were successful in being selected as one of the six Local Access areas and since then have worked with a wide range of partners to fully develop our plans for the programme. In 2021, these plans were approved by Access The Foundation for Social Investment and Big Society Capital and in early 2022 work to launch the LARCH programme began in earnest.

LARCH aims to support the development of stronger, more resilient and sustainable social economies in disadvantaged places, through providing better access to advice, learning and flexible capital to support the early generation and establishment of enterprise models for charities and social enterprises in a place.

LARCH will reach out and connect its enterprise and social investment expertise, with that of the public, private and third sector, combining assets to address social need. Only on this scale of cross sector partnership and creative collaboration, can the most disenfranchised members of our communities be engaged, and real social impact achieved.

LARCH is one of six places delivering a programme with a blend of grant and repayable investment, alongside enterprise development support, to develop and strengthen the local social economy.

Local organisations involved in LARCH

Our partnerships are made up of locally placed VCSE sector organisations who are keen to innovate and support to grow VCSE organisations’ sustainability and resilience. Click on each logo to learn more about the organisation. 

  • Menisha Gela, VONNE
  • Meena Bharadwa – Access Foundation for Social Investment
  • Dave Thornett – The Key Fund
  • Rita Lawson – TVRA
  • Peter Neal – RCVDA
  • Iain Caldwell – Let’s Connect
  • Clare Stanton – Redcar and Cleveland Council Borough Council
  • Israr Hussain – Hartlepool Borough Council
  • Peter Gowland – Hartlepower
  • Hugh McGouran – Tees Valley Community Foundation

Our Funders

The investment from our funders enables LARCH to achieve its ambitions.

Access – The Foundation for Social Investment works to make charities and social enterprises in England more financially resilient and self-reliant, so that they can sustain or increase their impact. Access does this by supporting the development of enterprise activity to grow and diversify income and improving access to the social investment which can help stimulate that enterprise activity.

Big Society Capital exists to improve the lives of people in the UK through social impact investing. We unite ideas, expertise and capital to create investment solutions for the UK’s social challenges, supporting organisations that deliver both positive social impact and sustainable financial returns. So far, we have helped channel £2.2 billion* into investments tackling a wide range of problems such as homelessness, mental ill health and childhood obesity.

Host Organisation

VONNE is the host organisation for LARCH.

VONNE supports charities, voluntary and community groups, and social enterprises to be well informed on the policy, practice and strategy development that affect you. We work strategically with you to ensure your voice is heard. Vonne facilitates partnerships and builds opportunities for collaboration within the VCSE community in the North East and between the sector and external stakeholders.

Peter GowlandDirector of Hartlepower, one of the voluntary sector organisations helping represent LARCH in Hartlepool
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"We urge anyone with a social enterprise idea to take up the LARCH offer, which is not just about providing funding for your project - welcome though that is - but good quality, continuing support throughout your enterprise journey. Hartlepool has a very rich tradition of people coming together to meet local needs - LARCH could be just the tool people need to realise their ambitions."
Iain CaldwellCEO Let's Connect and Chair of Hartlepool Local Access Panel
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"Connections between the LARCH family have been strong, open and positive. A desire to learn and evaluate what works. Design thinking ideas are brought into practice, tested, reflect on and learn. LARCH feels vibrant and alive - and it's only just starting."
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Enabling local people and communities to thrive through a vibrant, inclusive, resilient and economically productive social enterprise and community ownership sector.

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