SOCIAL enterprises ranging from the region’s most celebrated library to a rural railway and a homecare service for the elderly have won a total of £255,000.
Eight of the North East’s most promising not-for-profit enterprises were rewarded in banking giant Santander’s Social Enterprise Development Awards.
A package of money and mentoring has been presented to organisations which showed how they could make the biggest impact on their community.
The awards were piloted in the North East last year and were so successful that the bank rolled them out across the UK this year.
Craig Iley, Santander regional director, said: “The calibre of entrants from across the North East of England was outstanding and our eight winners provided exceptional development plans, demonstrating significant potential to increase their social and environmental benefits.
“They are very deserving of our investment in their businesses and we’re looking forward to supporting their future growth.”
The competition was backed by the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland which will work with the winners to assess the social impact of their business.
Its chief executive officer Rob Williamson said: “We have a thriving social enterprise sector in the North East and it was fantastic to see a great range of enterprises from major cities and remote areas entering the awards.
“It was a tough job for the judging panel but the winners demonstrate just how successful a social business can be; generating income by doing good and reinvesting their profits back into the local community. ”