Press releases

Legal & General's award-winning social investment fund returns to support 'greater Brighton' economy

An innovative social investment initiative funded by Legal & General and managed by CAF Venturesome sees the SE-Assist fund comes back to Greater Brighton where it started. Legal & General’s work to regenerate UK cities follows a simple but unique recipe for place-making.

12 Mar 2018

Long term direct Investment in infrastructure such as housing, businesses space and energy generation, employing people in Legal & General offices and social investments and supporting organisations innovating social and environmental challenges.

This March sees the fund bring together more investors than ever before looking to support the growth of purpose driven business including Legal & General, The Pebble Trust, Coast 2 Capital LEP, Brighton & Hove City Council and the Goodall Foundation.

A strong and established growth city, Brighton is continuing to experience a vast increase in the number of young professionals moving to the City and has one of the most talented labour pools in the South East. It is also a great place for innovation particularly around the environment and making society better.

The £300k SE-Assist fund is designed to provide interest free finance to social enterprises that are having a positive economic, social and or environmental benefit in Greater Brighton City Region. They are a vital part of the economy and particularly important for the Greater Brighton Region to thrive, an area which now stretches from Worthing in the west to Newhaven in the east, and up to Gatwick and Crawley in the north.

Lynne Sheehy, CSR Manager , Legal & General said “We are delighted that the fund returns to Brighton. Our partners CAF Venturesome and The Platform are helping to make sure that this initiative is widely publicised and we have some amazing organisations stepping forward who would benefit from funding, mentorship and business support. We are also very proud to have locally connected people join the Social Investment Committee in Greater Brighton. This team led by Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex will be responsible for making the initial investment decisions and the ongoing support for the backed businesses to help them grow and become successful”.


SE-Assist is an award winning innovative model of social investment allowing social enterprises to access both funding and support from business experts. It was founded by Legal & General and the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), with support from NESTA and the initiative was successfully piloted in Brighton & Hove back in 2013. Following the pilot it expanded to Croydon (2014–15) and then to Wales (2016–17).

In 2018 Greater Brighton and Wales are two key areas in the UK that will further benefit from this funds impact.

So far the SE-Assist has helped create around 30 jobs across a mix of sectors, has financially supported 27 enterprises with mentorship and there has been circa £600k of social investment to date. With the latest rounds of funding we will reach over £1m of funding via this programme in 2018. Some of the great businesses with social and environmental impact in our portfolio so far include hiSbeThe BevvyThe Book of You and Elite Paper Solutions

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.2 trillion in total assets under management* of which 39% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.

*as at HY 2023