Our sustainability stories

Pioneering Legal & General fund returns to support ‘Greater Brighton’ Economy

Legal & General’s work to regenerate UK cities follows a simple but unique recipe for place-making. Long term direct Investment in infrastructure such as housing, businesses space and energy generation, employing people in Legal & General offices and social investments supporting organisations innovating social and environmental challenges.

6 Mar 2018

This March sees the SE-Assist fund come back to Greater Brighton where it started and has since been to Wales and Croydon. We have brought together more investors than ever 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 is 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 who 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 which now stretches from Worthing in the west to Newhaven in the east, and up to Gatwick and Crawley in the north.

Our partners CAF Venturesome and The Platform are helping to make sure that this is widely publicised and we have some amazing organisations stepping forward who would benefit from funding and mentorship and business support

We are also hugely 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 on who to back as part of the portfolio and the ongoing support for the backed businesses to help make them successful and grow.

It started in Sussex…

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.

Impactful Investments so far…

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 hiSbe, The Bevvy, The Book of You and Elite Paper Solutions

Where do I apply?

SE-Assist Greater Brighton is open for applications from Friday 9th March for a 6 week period and details can be found here including the sort of businesses we are looking to fund. Why not take a look and see if we can help you.