Celebrating 10 Years of Social Enterprise Places

This year the Social Enterprise Places Programme turns 10 years old. Since Alston Moor became the first Social Enterprise Place in 2013, thirty-three other places have been recognised as hot spots of social enterprise activity. These range from towns and cities to entire counties, all united by a dedication to grow and support local social enterprises.


To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Places Programme events will be taking place across the country including two flagship events in Cumbria and Plymouth.


This page will list the main 10-year anniversary events taking place throughout the year.

Alston Moor - Social Enterprise Town sign

Events in Alston Moor – the first Social Enterprise Place

The town of Alston Moor in Cumbria was the first town to be named a Social Enterprise Place in June 2013. It is a town where the principles of social entrepreneurship have transformed the local economy and brought about positive social change. Ten years later, Alston Moor’s social enterprises are still going strong. In 2018, the wider county of Cumbria also gained Social Enterprise Place status, recognising the contribution of social enterprises to the region.


To mark the ten year anniversary of Alston Moor being a  Social Enterprise Place there will be two days of celebration starting with an event in Rheged on Thursday 13 July where guests will hear from some of the key players in the social enterprise landscape in Cumbria. This will be followed by a Social Enterprise Safari around Alston Moor on Friday 14 July where attendees will visit some of the social enterprises which make it a Social Enterprise Town!

Plymouth annivesary banner square

Plymouth – Social Enterprise Festival

In 2013, Plymouth became the UK’s first Social Enterprise City.  There are now around 250 social enterprises and cooperative businesses in the city working across a wide range of sectors including education, health, arts, environment, food, finance, housing, business support, sport, social care and more. Collectively these businesses employ around 9,500 people and bring in an income of over £700 million.


To celebrate the incredible contribution of social enterprises to the city, there will be activity taking place throughout the year culminating in the Social Enterprise Festival in November. The launch of the festival will be on Wednesday 8 November, click here to book your free place.


The activity is being spearheaded by PSEN (The Plymouth Social Enterprise Network) who were instrumental  in leading the bid to get the city Social Enterprise Place status.

North East Social Enterprise Festival

North East Social Enterprise Festival 2024

The Festival aims to raise the profile of Social Enterprise across the North East and challenge us all to consider the social impact of our purchasing decisions.  Whether you’re are a visitor, exhibitor or sponsor, the Festival will provide a great opportunity for networking and research among social enterprise colleagues from across the region.


Although the majority of Social Entrepreneurs operate and trade for the benefit of communities in the North East (so when they profit, our society profits) there are many internationally known brands operating for global good and we look forward to welcoming them to the North East.


The Festival will have numerous displays of the benefits of collaborative efforts and a fantastic array of creative ways to combat social problems. Watch this space to find out more!

10 Years Social Enterprise Places