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Black Country social enterprise leader's advice for next PM on 'levelling up' agenda

A Black Country community enterprise founder has urged the Government to speed up its Levelling Up agenda.

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kevin Davis

Kevin Davis, CEO of The Vine Trust Group, welcomed Conservative Party leadership front runner Liz Truss' promise that “every part of Whitehall will play its part in supporting the West Midlands" if she becomes Prime Minister.

Mr Davis believes funding community enterprises could help deliver Truss’ promise on levelling up the West Midlands.

He said: "Surely the core aim of the ‘levelling up’ policy should be to empower our local businesses to deliver the growth our communities need.

"Analysis by the Social Investment Forum finds that 43% of social investment deals have gone to Levelling Up Priority 1 Areas, totalling £520 million across nearly 2,000 deals - This seems like a good place to start.

"Finance for community enterprises, like The Vine Trust Group, will allow us to continue making a difference to the lives of the countless young people who have passed through our doors, be that through education, employment, engagement, and, yes - enterprise - through our St Matthew’s Quarter Social Enterprise Zone in Walsall."

Mr Davis is also social enterprise lead of the board of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and believes Government investment could change lives.

He said: "With a consultation currently underway for how to use £800m worth of dormant assets funding, I hope we won’t have to wait too long for the Whitehall machine to grind into action. Social investment in community enterprises is a proven and successful way of levelling up our communities.

"Let’s make sure a good amount of funding from dormant assets gets allocated to it, as called for by the Community Enterprise Growth Plan."