Non-profit Making Associations

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Margaret Moran Margaret Moran Labour, Luton South

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills by what mechanisms his Department monitors the (a) performance and (b) value for money of regional development agencies in assisting social enterprises.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (Yorkshire and the Humber), Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Regional Economic Development and Co-ordination); (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government)

The RDAs produce corporate plans setting out corporate objectives and expenditure plans across all major activities including social enterprise. Progress against these plans is subsequently reviewed and reported in the RDA's annual report and accounts. RDAs are also required to undertake impact evaluations of their major projects. That work was recently collected together in a report "Impact of RDA Spending" carried out on the Department's behalf by PriceWaterhouseCoopers which provided an overall assessment of RDAs' effectiveness. The report concluded that RDA expenditure produced economic benefits in all regions.

The Office of the Third Sector's Social Enterprise Action Plan announced £5.9 million for the regional development agencies to March 2011 to improve social enterprise support via Business Link. A formal evaluation of the programme by the Office of the Third Sector has begun, with BIS involvement, and will provide a mechanism to share results across the country, with central Government and with the sector. A report on the early stages of the programme has recently been published on the OTS website:

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