Category Archives: Hot News

Selnet’s Enterprise in Society Awards 2018 Nominations Open


Celebrating the very best in social enterprise across Lancashire the annual Selnet Enterprise In Society Awards return in May 2018 and this year will be staged at the fabulous De Vere Hotel in Blackpool. 

The glittering occasion, now in its eighth year, sees social enterprises compete in a wide range of categories for the honour and pride of being recognised by their peers.


Nominate for an Enterprise in Society Award

Winning a Selnet Enterprise In Society Award is a huge boost for your Social Enterprise! Imagine the effect on staff morale and how it can improve your standing in the sector.

To nominate your organisation or an individual simply download a form below and return by the closing date of Wednesday 28th March to

Awards Categories

Start-up Social Enterprise of the Year Small Social Enterprise of the Year
Enabling Ability Award Volunteer of the Year
Most Effective Partnership Excellence in Training or Mentoring
Environmental Champion of the Year Social Enterprise of the Year
Lancashire’s Social Enterprise Champion 2018 

Full category guidelines are available here.


Download a Nomination Form

Word   Selnet Awards 2018 – Nomination Form


Book Now

Whether you’re nominating for an award or not, the Selnet Awards are always a fantastic night. It’s a great opportunity to meet other social enterprises, key decision makers and sponsors from across Lancashire, network and share ideas. Plus great entertainment, a fabulous meal and, of course, the ceremony itself.

To book, either head over to our dedicated awards website and use the booking portal or contact stating the number of tickets required and who to invoice.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Our Sponsors

Selnet are thrilled to have the First Ark group back as headline sponsors of the 2018 Enterprise in Society Awards. Showing their commitment to our sector in Lancashire and supporting our vibrant network of social businesses and the amazing work they do in Lancashire’s communities.

“We are keen to encourage the growth of a strong social economy in Lancashire. Working with Selnet allows the First Ark Group to recognise how we can best provide support and appropriate mechanisms to deliver growth and social impact within the sector.”
Tony Cahill, First Ark

Looking to sponsor a Selnet Award? Click here for more information.



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National Fellowship for Lancashire social enterprise leader

The driving force behind Selnet – the Social Enterprise Lancashire Network – has been awarded one of the first Honorary Fellowships of the national body, Social Enterprise UK.

The Honorary Fellowships were awarded to 15 outstanding sector leaders who have taken their own organisations from strength to strength but also play a large part in shaping, guiding and championing the social enterprise movement as a whole. Recognising those who have contributed to creating a diverse, thriving and truly impactful community of businesses, the Fellowships celebrate key individuals who are making great strides to drive the sector forwards now.

Selnet Chief Executive Liz Tapner was named along with the leaders in the social enterprise world alongside the founder of the Big Issue magazine, Lord John Bird, and Sophi Tranchell MBE of pioneering Fairtrade company Divine Chocolate.

Since joining Selnet over 10 years ago, Liz has grown the organisation from a small project to a major body which represents and supports the social enterprises that operate across Lancashire.

When you think of social enterprise in Lancashire, you think of Liz Tapner. She has put her heart and her soul into the job and the board is delighted that she has been recognised on the national stage by Social Enterprise UK.

Liz is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why Selnet has been so successful over the last 10 years and we’re delighted to have her at the helm.

Graham Jones

Bootstrap Enterprises

Liz led Selnet in securing a £9.2m project called Building Better Opportunities, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund where a partnership of 64 organisations are helping the most vulnerable in society to be more resilient and closer to the world of work.

Social Enterprise UK is a national body which regularly has the ear of government to advise them on issues within the sector and, as it has been running for 15 years, has appointed 15 honorary fellows

Speaking of her appointment, Liz said: “It is a huge honour for me personally and a great testament to the work that we achieve here in Lancashire. My job is to secure and manage contracts, but I get my satisfaction from seeing the work being undertaken by the social enterprises that we represent who are helping people when they need it most.

I am supported by a fantastic board of directors drawn from social enterprises across Lancashire and have an amazing team working with me.

And we don’t work in isolation – our projects are often delivered in partnership, particularly with Lancashire County Council, the LEP, local authorities and funding bodies nationally and across Europe.” 

It’s a view echoed by the chair of the board, Graham Jones from Bootstrap Enterprises, based in Blackburn. He said: “When you think of social enterprise in Lancashire, you think of Liz Tapner. She has put her heart and her soul into the job and the board is delighted that she has been recognised on the national stage by Social Enterprise UK.

“Liz is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why Selnet has been so successful over the last 10 years and we’re delighted to have her at the helm.”



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Looking to Grow?

Funded business support is available, talk to us:

Selnet is working with Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, to deliver professional, impartial business support to ambitious companies across the county.

Boost helps business to grow and develop through advice, support and access to funding. Our role is to connect enterprising Lancashire businesses with these funded programmes, including mentoring, business masterclasses, product development, leadership development and accessing finance.


How we can help

Selnet’s delivery team will work with your business to identify growth opportunities and introduce you to the best support programmes to help you achieve your goals. With so much support available, this impartial and professional advice can save your business time and ensure that the support offered is relevant and valuable to your business.


Who we can help

The support is targeted towards companies (private and social enterprise) that are business-to-business and already trading.

Collectively, the team holds over 180 years’ experience of helping organisations just like yours.


For more information and to access support please contact Selnet on 01772 200690 or email .

We look forward to hearing from you.




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Selnet Wins Funding to Support Enterprise Programme

Selnet Ltd has been awarded £34,030.50 of funding from NatWest as part of its Skills and Opportunities Fund.

We are delighted to be one of seven organisations from across the North of England to be awarded a share of the £200,000 funding pot following a public vote. The grant will be used by Selnet to support its Lancashire Social Enterprise Project which aims to deliver a project targeting people across Lancashire, particularly in deprived areas, to promote social enterprise and self employment as alternatives to the traditional labour market, and to deliver 1:1 specialist support and enterprise skills seminars to help 30 new business ideas be realised.

NatWest’s Skills & Opportunities Fund aims to help people in some of our most deprived communities help themselves to move towards a better future, with improved financial skills and/or self-employment prospects.

Selnet CEO Liz Tapner
, said: “The funding from the NatWest Skills and Opportunities fund will enable us deliver the ‘Lancashire Social Enterprise Project’, which will support aspiring entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds, to explore self-employment and social enterprise to help improve their economic circumstances. We want to thank everyone who voted for us and NatWest for its support.”

Richard Topliss, Chairman of the NatWest North Regional Board, said: “Through the Skills and Opportunities Fund, we have been able to support a range of programmes across the North of England in their development and delivery, and like those programmes that have won previously, Selnet  has created a fantastic programme through  its Lancashire Social Enterprise Project which will have a positive impact on the local community.

“The impact of these projects, which are helping people to build new skills, get into work or start their own business, is fantastic and I would encourage anyone who wasn’t successful this time to try again when applications open early next year.”


A huge thank you from Selnet to everyone who kindly voted for our project among all those shortlisted for the North. We are one of 7 successful organisations and are looking forward to launching the project in the New Year!

You can find out more about the Lancashire Social Enterprise Project and all of the other winners here.



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Selnet’s Enterprise in Society Awards 2017 – And the winners are…

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2017 Enterprise in Society Awards


 Enabling Ability Award
sponsored by
Media Village


In Di Go
Integrate (Preston & Chorley) Ltd
Willow Garden Project
Wonderful Things


Environmental Champion of the Year
sponsored by
Recycling Lives


Emmaus North West with Furniture Matters
Urban Organic (UK) CIC
Willow Garden Project


Excellence in Training or Mentoring
sponsored by
Periscope Productions

Advocacy Focus

Best at Solutions CIC
Lancashire Equalities


Most Effective Collaboration
sponsored by
Bootstrap Enterprises

The Sewing Rooms

Highly Commended

Castle Supported Living and Access Ability CIC
Food Redistribution Centre – run by Recycling Lives in partnership with FareShare
UR Potential & Strawberry Fields Training CIC


Small Social Enterprise of the Year
sponsored by
Unity Trust Bank

Dig In North West cic

Preston Vocational Centre
SEED / Breathe Therapies
Strawberry Fields Training
Wonderful Things


Start-up Social Enterprise of the Year
sponsored by
The Sewing Rooms

Spring into Phab

Podio Magazine
SHAPE Lancashire
The Dog Inn


Social Enterprise of the Year
sponsored by
HR Savvy

UR Potential

Highly Commended
Urban Organic (UK) CIC

Age Concern Central Lancashire
Castle Supported Living
In Di Go
Reachout Darwen


Volunteer of the Year

Jackie Leeming (n-compass)

Dorothy Vose (Age Concern CL)
Wonderful Things Youth Volunteer Team


Lancashire’s Social Enterprise Champion 2017
sponsored by
First Ark

Peter Green (Integrate (Preston & Chorley) Ltd)

Alistair Clarke (Tick the Publicity Box)
Deborah Terras (UR Potential)


Photos Coming Soon!


Thanks Again To Our Sponsors


“We are keen to encourage the growth of a strong social economy in Lancashire. Working with Selnet allows the First Ark Group to recognise how we can best provide support and appropriate mechanisms to deliver growth and social impact within the sector.” Tony Cahill, First Ark



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ERDF Open Calls in Lancashire UPDATE

Network for Europe held a briefing session on 2nd February regarding the open ERDF calls in Lancashire.

For those unable to attend, you can download the presentation below which gives details of the current Calls in Lancashire under the ERDF Programme.

 ERDF Briefing Session (Lancs) 02/02/17

In addition here is the link to the site containing the application form and annexes to be completed. If you have any questions regarding this please email:

Note that the ESIF form applies to these calls and the ERDF Annexes are the relevant documents.


Link to Application and Annexes:

If you have a draft application relating to the ERDF Priority 6 Call – ‘Preserving and Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency’ then you can book a slot with DCLG officers to discuss your application.If you have a draft project and want to book a slot for this please contact Shabana Patel at LCC on

If you have any further queries please contact John Hacking:  

or Liz Tapner at SELNET by emailing –




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Skills and Opportunities Fund

Are you Looking To Start A Social Enterprise?


Social enterprises operate in all areas of life providing goods and services that benefit the community.

Here in Lancashire social enterprises are involved in recycling, helping people to find work, the arts and theatre, supporting people with a range of issues and so much more.

NatWest, through its Skills and Opportunities Fund, is currently working in Lancashire to establish 18 social enterprises in 18 months.

So if you are looking to set up a social enterprise contact Social Enterprise Solutions CIC – one of Selnet’s members – to get free help and support.

The team of qualified business advisers, based in Blackpool, will be able to help by explaining the different forms of social enterprise; with completing the company paperwork; give advice on how to put together a business plan; cash flow and all the other aspects of starting a business.

For an informal chat or to arrange a meeting, contact 01253 344123 or







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Lancashire Building Better Opportunities Launch PRESS RELEASE

Lancashire’s Share of £62m Drive To Help More People Find Employment

A new drive to help people in Lancashire boost their skills and support them into employment and training has launched this month.

A partnership of 61 organisations in Lancashire, led by the Social Enterprise Lancashire Network – Selnet – has been successful in securing over five and half million pounds for two new projects in the county that will run until 2019.

The scheme is part of a programme part funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund called Building Better Opportunities.

The Invest in Youth programme aims to transform the futures of over 770 young people aged between 15 and 24 who have issues in their lives that are getting in the way of them finding employment. It will focus on participants with mental or physical health difficulties, who are homeless, have disabilities or they may be full-time carers.

Meanwhile the Age of Opportunity programme will run along similar lines and be targeted at supporting 1500 people over the age of 50.

The 61 social enterprises and charities that will provide the service will cover the whole county and have been selected to meet the specialist needs of the people that will receive support.

In England, a total of 27 projects have been given the go ahead with the aim to fill the gaps in existing provision that is available to help people into work, learn new skills and tackle poverty.

Lyn Cole, England grant making director at the Big Lottery Fund said: “The Building Better Opportunities programme not only enables people to improve their employment prospects, but their self-confidence too. Each project is specifically designed to match the needs and ambitions of local communities, providing tailored support that helps people achieve their goals.”

Lead partner, Selnet, has worked closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership, LEP, to ensure the services on offer meet the specific needs in Lancashire.

Liz Tapner, chief executive at Selnet, said: “Securing this funding is a major achievement for the partnership and I believe it will truly make a difference to some peoples’ lives in Lancashire.

“There is good provision in the county to help people who are out of work but there are some people who have significant challenges in their lives and we’re here to help. They may need six months or a year of help from us and it is that intensive support that the team of specialist partners can deliver.

For more information on the Invest In Youth programme for people aged between 16 and 24 or the Age Of Opportunity programme for those over 50, please contact Donna Sadler, Partnership Manager at Selnet Ltd on 01772 200690 or email


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Selnet at The Northern Enterprise Conference

Team Selnet had a great day at the Northern Enterprise Conference on Thursday 13th October at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.

It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends old and new from the social enterprise world, hear some great speakers, attend mini masterclasses and promote Selnet at our exhibition stand, leaving us feeling motivated for the challenges ahead and proud of our sector.

selnet-at-northern-enterprise-awardsThe evening took us into the Powerful Together Awards where we were thrilled to see two of our Lancashire Enterprises take home awards. Debbie O’Brien of Castle Supported Living won the Leadership award and The Profound Impact Award went to Recycling Lives. Congratulations to both well deserving winners doing great work in Lancashire. Our glasses were raised to all the winners and finalists especially our members who know they are doing amazing work.

Massive thanks to Rosie Jolly and her team at SEN Together and all the sponsors for hosting the event and breaking down regional barriers to celebrate our vibrant sector across the northern powerhouse.

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We have moved…Upstairs!

Selnet are thrilled to be all settled into our new office.

Same Building, just more space and more windows!

New Address:
Unit F28
Preston Technology Management Centre
Marsh Lane

Tel: 01772 200690

Apologies if you have been unable to contact us while we were getting set up. 


We look forward to seeing you in the new office!


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