Our 'UK regional and national spotlight' campaign focuses on ‘Place’, spotlighting the power of social investment from each and every corner of the UK. Today, we’re spotlighting the North East...

The North East of England, a region steeped in history and cultural heritage, is a vibrant tapestry of urban innovation and rural charm. Known for its iconic landmarks like the Angel of the North and the historic Hadrian's Wall, the North East also boasts a strong community spirit and a commitment to social progress.

In this blog, we delve into the heart of the North East, showcasing how social investment is playing a crucial role in shaping the future of this dynamic region. From community-led initiatives to innovative social enterprises, the stories we share here are testament to the region's resilience and forward-thinking approach.

North East: Social Investment in Action 

One of the best ways to learn more about social investment and how it can be used is through examples. Good Finance has 115 case studies and counting – here we spotlight just five recent stories from North East...

Community Campus '87

Community Campus '87 in the North East is addressing housing needs with innovative solutions. Leveraging social investment, they have made significant strides in providing affordable housing and support services. Read more about their impactful work.

Hemlington Lake & Recreation Centre

Transforming local spaces into vibrant community hubs, Hemlington Lake & Recreation Centre showcases how social investment can enhance recreational facilities and enrich community life. Discover their story and learn more about using social investment for energy resilience via our Energy Resilience Hub. 

Valley Heritage

Valley Heritage is revitalising historical sites in the North East. Their work, backed by social investment, is preserving the region's rich heritage for future generations. Learn about their mission with their case study.

Tumble Gymnastics 

Tumble Gymnastics and Activity Centre is a facility that offers physical activity and wellbeing for everyone regardless of age and ability in a family fun environment creating a unique experience. Focused on gymnastics, their social mission is to encourage and support young people and adults who are currently physically inactive to increase their activity levels to improve their physical and mental health. Learn more about their experiences with social investment via the case study

Autism Plus 

Autism Plus supports adults and young people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health conditions and complex needs. They attract referrals from local governments and Clinical Commissioning Groups on a case-by-case basis. Autism Plus employ over 450 people across the north of England in care support services, employment support and social enterprises. Read more about their journey with social investment. 

Festive Focus: North East

Check out our Case Study Mapper and filter by North East to view all of the case studies we have from organisations that have harnessed the power of social investment in the North East. 

Have you got a social investment story to tell? We’d love to spotlight more examples of social investment in action in the North East to support organisations that are currently exploring repayable finance. You can submit your experiences online here, alternatively email aconstable@goodfinance.org.uk to arrange content collection.

North East: Must-Reads

We also have various blogs, media and news from the North East of England that help to provide a place-based perspective on the region. Here’s a couple of must-read blogs.

A High Street Revolution: Back On The Map uses Social Finance to Transform their Local Community

Back on the Map harnessed the power of The Community Ownership Fund and Social Investment to deliver their High Street Revolution, to meet the needs of the community they serve. 

“Just reach out to anybody and everybody. Try to get support for the project. Don’t just talk to one lender, talk to everyone, because they will have different rates, offers and ways to help. Put the word out. Don’t be shy – shy bairns get nowt!”  

Jo Cooper, CEO at Back On The Map 

Read the full blog, provided by our friends at Locality, to learn more about what they achieved with support from social investment. 

How Social Investment Could Help You Be More Sustainable

Carol Botten is CEO at VONNE (Voluntary Organisations Network North East), the regional umbrella and support organisation for the VCSE sector in the North East region. In this blog, she explains why it's worth finding out if social investment could work for you.

"It is risky trying something new and things don’t always work out. But for some, the risk of not trying could be more of a threat to the long-term survival of their organisation. Social investment is not for everybody. However in these times, there is less and less money to go round so we should be considering all our options!"

Carol Botten, CEO at VONNE

Read the blog for more top tips and advice on using social investment to diversify your income, and you can also read her other blog on VONNE's journey to supporting social investment. 

Re-living Good Finance Live in Newcastle

...and finally, throwing it all the way back to the first ever Good Finance Live! It's aim was to provide a space where social enterprises and charities who were actively looking for capital could meet with a wide range of social investors - all in one place. Check-out our round-up of the event, via this blog

North East: Watch or Listen on Demand 

Over the years, we've ran various events, both in-person and online and captured some of our amazing 'Hear From a Peer' speakers as they reflect on their experiences with social investment.

We also have over 75 Podcasts, all of which are available to listen to via the streaming service of your choice. Here's our pick for the North East...

Hear from a Peer: Dave Parker, Jazz Coop - Newcastle

Jazz Coop Co-Founder Dave Parker talks about how a community cooperative of jazz-lovers bought a pub and turned it into a music venue and education centre. They did this with the help of investment from a range of sources including 220 cooperative members and social investment from Co-operative & Community Finance.

Have a listen to find out what the challenges were as well as the opportunities that taking on social investment offered.

Hear from a Peer: Christina Murrell, Veterans at Ease - Newcastle

Veterans at Ease managing director Christina Murrell talks about their social investment journey. Having started as a very grant-dependant organisation, they had to re-think their business model to become more sustainable. This led them to use social investment from the Key Fund, which helped them open a charity shop to support the work they do.

Have a listen to find out what the challenges were as well as the opportunities that taking on social investment offered.

Hear from a Peer: Dom Ryan, One Unite Partnership - Newcastle

One Unite Partnership's co-founder Dom Ryan talks about how investment from Northstar Ventures provided working capital to help them scale and grow their not-for-profit energy and telecoms company.

Have a listen to find out what the challenges were as well as the opportunities that taking on social investment offered.

Let's Talk Good Finance: Sport for Social Impact 

This online event offers a unique opportunity for individuals and organisations to delve into the possibilities and potential of social investment and how it can enhance your impact within the communities you serve. 

Watch on demand to hear from three leaders and their experience of securing social investment, including Rachel Lynch, Director at The Urban Factory, in Hebburn.  

Media Cultured

Media Cultured is a social enterprise that tackles issues of racism, radicalisation and misrepresentation through the use of positive role models and clear messages about ‘identity and integration’ within an increasingly multicultural society. 

They provide bespoke programmes for schools, colleges, universities, private companies and faith groups. 

This is the story of how they took on social investment to help grow their social business.

That’s a wrap for today! We are delighted to celebrate the social investment space in the North East and we know there's many stories left untold. 

If we’ve missed anything or you’d like to chat to us about featuring more content based the North East on Good Finance, please email aconstable@goodfinance.org.uk and we’d love to chat further! 

Have a browse off various regional and national spotlight's across the UK!

- Spotlight series: West Midlands

- Spotlight series: East Midlands

- Spotlight series: South West

- Spotlight series: South East

- Spotlight series: London

- Spotlight series: Scotland

- Spotlight series: Yorkshire and Humber

- Spotlight series: East England

- Spotlight series: North West

- Spotlight series: Northern Ireland

- Spotlight series: Wales