Rural Social Enterprise Programme

This development programme sought to establish and embed social enterprise in rural community transport in England. 

The Rural Social Enterprise Programme (RSEP) funded eight rural community transport organisations (CTOs) to employ development managers with the express aim of significantly increasing the percentage of their income derived from securing public service contracts.  The origin of the programme was research carried out by the Community Transport Association (CTA) and the Plunkett Foundation (PF) entitled “Enterprising approaches to rural community transport”. This research was carried out in 2006 and the final report can be downloaded here.

Following the research and additional consultation, a funding package was developed and secured from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; The Social Investment Business (formerly FutureBuilders England); the Department for Transport and the Commission for Rural Communities. This programme commenced with the appointment of the Rural Social Enterprise Development Programme Manager in September 2009.

The strategic objectives for this programme were to:

  • Support the development of eight organisations to become social enterprises, achieve more sustainable income through securing public service contracts and provide even better local transport provision for the communities they serve.
  • Demonstrate to the wider RCT network that the social enterprise model is both viable and achievable. 
  • Demonstrate to service commissioners that the RCT network is a viable long term delivery mechanism for a wide range of social, health, education and other transport services. 

The Programme included a number of training events designed to assist the participant organisations in improving performance and skills across the board. This training was free to programme participants and was also available to a limited number of additional organisations who wished to take part.

For details of the Full Training Programme download here.


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Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: Aeroworks, 5 Adair Street, Manchester M1 2NQ. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.

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