Community Wealth Building

The Project

Is about creating a resilient and inclusive economy for the benefit of Torbay. It’s about making more local employment in our area and a larger and more diverse business base, ensuring that wealth is locally owned and benefits local people.

Adopting this approach provides value for our communities wherever possible, through the goods we buy, people we employ, assets we own and the powers we have that can bring about change to maximise Torbay’s local economic opportunities.

Using the principles which sit behind community wealth building we can achieve this through:

  • Progressive procurement of goods and services – procuring goods and commissioning locally, to develop dense local supply chains within our local business community and stimulate employment by retaining a greater propensity of wealth locally.
  • Fair employment and just labour markets – progressive practice to stimulate the local economy and bring social improvements to local communities, by recruiting from lower income areas, commitment to paying the real living wage, and creating career progression opportunities.
  • Plural ownership of the economy – wealth generated within the economy to stay in the local area.
  • Making financial power work for local places – directing financial investments through pension funds and local authority investments towards local priorities and bringing transformative capital to locally rooted enterprises.
  • From socially productive use of land and property – through the development of underutilised assets for community use.

Anchor institutions

To achieve the most value and benefit for Torbay we work closely and collaborate with our local anchor institutions; our place-based organisations, invested in Torbay:

  • Torbay Council
  • Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust
  • South Devon College

These organisations spend substantial amounts of money that is retained within our local area. They cannot relocate to another part of the country, have significant procurement and investment spend which can be spent locally and their economic potential harnessed.

Anchor institutions have a collective interest in seeing their local area improve and we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate further.

Community Wealth Building Memorandum of Understanding

This memorandum of understanding (MoU) sets out how we as anchor institutions will work as an organisation and with partners, from the goods that we buy, to the people that we employ, the assets we own, and the powers that we have, to bring about positive change and maximise the local economic opportunities.

Case Studies

The project

Turning Heads is a community interest company that is helping to build a community that values and empowers togetherness across Torbay. The organisation works with vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the local area, including families, children, and people with learning disabilities.


The challenge

Torbay is the most deprived local authority in the South West and one in three people live in places that are in the top 20% most deprived in England.

With increasing demand for their services, Turning Heads wanted to expand the scope of their social enterprise so that they could do more to tackle inequalities and food poverty across Torbay.


The solution

In August 2022, Turning Heads was awarded £10,000 in funding from the Torbay Social Enterprise Grant (TSEG); a scheme set up to support the development Torbay’s social enterprise sector and to strengthen the local economy through Community Wealth Building which is championed by TDA.

Turning Heads used the money to secure local premises and launched several new initiatives to help the local community, including:

  • Affordable recipe boxes which are delivered across Torbay to vulnerable people
  • A ‘Social supermarket’ that provides food to the public at a fraction of the cost
  • Learning space and lessons to promote family cooking and healthy eating
  • Cooked meal services
  • Rental space for other voluntary groups and social enterprise groups to utilise

They were also able to create five new jobs for local people with disabilities, helping to stimulate the local economy further and providing additional incomes for local people.

CEO of Turning Heads, Alan Tilley, said: ‘’The Torbay Social Enterprise Grant Funding has been crucial in growing Turning Heads CIC; both in terms of staff numbers and our service offer to the local community.  As a Community Interest Company, we rely on grant funding to be able to continue to deliver affordable or free services to those who need it most. The cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated the need for access to affordable food and Turning Heads are committed to supporting the community through a range of services and resources, whether that is through our free family cooking sessions, recipe box deliveries or the newly opened social supermarket.’’


The Project

Maker Arts is a community interest company that offers a creative approach to learning that benefits young people in Torbay who are struggling to engage in mainstream education. Based in Paignton, Maker Arts specialise in developing young people’s social, emotional and mental health by offering a rich and varied arts-based learning environment.

Working with small groups of students aged 11 to 18, Maker Arts offer courses in mindfulness, employability, art and science, which are designed to develop confidence, facilitate well-being, foster aspirations and, ultimately, encourage students back into the classroom.


The Challenge

Maker Arts applied for funding to support and expand the scope of their social enterprise so that they could do more to support young people in Torbay who are struggling with mainstream education.


The Solution

In 2022, Maker Arts was awarded £5,000 from the Torbay Social Enterprise Grant. This was used to refurbish local premises and to purchase new equipment and resources that have allowed Maker Arts to diversify their offering to young people. Maker Arts also used the grant to employ a new member of staff; helping them to build their capacity.

Thanks to the funding, Maker Arts have been able to expand their reach. They are now working with a local secondary school and are looking forward to working with more institutions across Torbay.

Director of Maker Arts, Sue Parsons, said: ‘‘The Torbay Social Enterprise Grant Funding has been central in developing our premises and services at Maker Arts CIC. Thanks to the funding, we have been able to continue to support young people to grow in confidence and raise their aspirations.’’



The Project 

Sound Communities is a Social Enterprise based in Paignton which helps marginalised young people to engage, create and consult using radio, music and creative media production. Their pioneering work aims to develop creativity, improve mental health, inspire confidence, raise aspirations, increase skills and foster agency in young people. 

Sound Communities supports young people across Torbay and South Devon through alternative provision, community outreach, partnership referrals, volunteering and work experience to develop self-esteem and creativity. 

The organisation also works with young people to create digital media content and platforms that give them the opportunity to be heard and learn new skills. Their main production arms include Ocean Youth Radio; Oceanside Records, a Rap/Hip-Hop record label; and Ocean Digital. 


The Challenge 

With growing demand for their services, Sound Communities applied for Torbay Social Enterprise Grant funding to expand the scope of their rap and hip-hop record label, Ocean Records. With the funding, they hoped to amplify the voices of marginalised young people in Torbay.  


The Solution 

In 2022, Sound Communities was awarded £7,950 from the Torbay Social Enterprise Grant Fund. This funding was used to part-fund a Delivery Lead role to develop the record label arm of the business, Ocean Records, into a sustainable, youth-led social enterprise. 

Thanks to the funding, Sound Communities has been able to focus their business model on becoming more self-sustaining and less reliant on external funding. Meanwhile, they continue to recruit and train young people in production skills and market services; and enable them to produce engaging and relevant content.  

Sound Communities continues to pioneer their work across South Devon and were recently recognised for their efforts locally through the Torbay Business Awards where they won the Commissioner’s Business Community Champion Award in June. 

Director of Sound Communities, Kate Rudman, said: ‘‘The Torbay Social Enterprise Grant has had a huge impact on our ability to support Oceanside Records. The funding has allowed us to develop an action plan, engage more young people to get involved, produce and release more music and music videos, and set up regular performances and open mic nights.’’ 

Supplying Torbay

Find out how to access local public sector procurement opportunities:

Social Enterprise research

Commissioned as part of Torbay’s Community Wealth building approach:

Community Wealth Building

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