This article has been clarified: please see final paragraphSocial Enterprise UK, the umbrella body for social enterprises, is considering mergers with three regional umbrella bodies, according to Peter Holbrook, its chief executive.
Umbrella bodies for social enterprise exist in eight of the nine regions in the UK. It was recently announced that Rise, the umbrella body for social enterprises in the south west of England, is to close.
Rise announced took the step because it lost funding from the regional development agency in the south west. Other regional social enterprise bodies are also heavily dependent on RDA funding and are likely to face similar problems.
Speaking at the launch of Partner Up, a new service to support mergers run by the consultancy Eastside Consulting, Holbrook said the decision to look at a merger was based not only on necessity, but also on changes in personnel at local bodies.
He said that SEUK was working with social enterprises in the south west to set up a new body to support their needs.
Clarification: Social Enterprise UK has stated that it is not involved in discussions on mergers with three local bodies, but on strategic partnerships to share costs, to jointly bid for work and to avoid duplicating service provision. The organisation is also involved in discussions with social enterprise bodies in the south west about how to support them, but these do not include setting up a new body.