Northern Ireland's main social enterprise umbrella body to close

Social Economy Network, which has more than 200 member organisations, will fold at the end of the month after NI government declines to renew funding

Social Economy Network
Social Economy Network

The main organisation for social enterprises in Northern Ireland is to close following the expiry of a £600,000 government grant.

Social Economy Network will cease operating at the end of this month.

The chair, Audrey Murray, announced the board’s decision to close in a letter on the organisation’s website.

The letter says the organisation, which has a membership of more than 200 social enterprises, is "no longer the best vehicle to deliver maximum impact for the sector".

"The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has taken the decision that the funding of the SEN will not be part of its future strategy for the social economy sector in Northern Ireland," she writes.

"This is based on the findings of the recent evaluation of SEN."

Murray told Third Sector that the organisation’s three full-time members of staff would be made redundant at the end of the month.

A page on the DETI website says it had provided funding worth £600,000 up to 2011 to support the development and long-term sustainability of SEN as the representative body of the NI social economy sector.

No  one was available at the DETI to provide further details.

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