March 8, 2022
End of the road
Perhaps because the third sector is such a multi-faceted amalgam of activity, it’s almost impossible to describe in any way that does justice to its diversity. It’s why so many collective voices have emerged over the years to represent different parts of the whole. One of those parts is social enterprise – the part that Senscot has promoted, often against the grain of public policy, for over twenty years. Earlier this week, they were informed by the Scottish Government that this role was to cease. I wrote previously that the whole procurement process felt wrong. It still feels wrong.
The Scottish Government has announced its decision that Social Enterprise Scotland will receive the funding to become the single intermediary from summer 2022. SENScot is obviously extremely disappointed at this decision, but is also deeply concerned about the future of support for grassroots social enterprises, especially rural groups, social firms and community-led work in deprived urban communities.
We are also concerned about how Social Enterprise Networks (Place-based and thematic) will be supported going forward and how their values and approach will continue to be recognised and developed in the future.
We note that the removal of government funding is likely to close the doors at SENScot, with a loss to the sector of some of our most experienced and passionate people – and just as the government launches its new strategy towards a wellbeing economy.
The Board would like to thank the staff for their patience, loyalty and focus during what has been an incredibly challenging time.