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Enterprise Partnership Learns to Be Self Sustainable

30th Sep 2011

Leading North East commercial law firm Muckle LLP has given an Enterprise Learning Partnership lessons on how to become self sustainable.

County Durham Enterprise Learning Partnership (ELP) was set up and funded by Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and this funding was due to end in April 2011. Following some major achievements, including a day of Enterprise TV broadcast live over the internet, the team did not want its good work to end and so considered setting up a community interest company to continue to offer enterprise education support and delivery to schools and organisations.

Members contacted Muckle LLP for advice on how to become self sustainable and form a new company, ‘ELP with Enterprise.’ Associate solicitor, Joanne Davison, advised the team on legal structures, guided them closely throughout the whole process and offered support on a range of governance and commercial issues.

Joanne Davison said: “We appreciate that groups from non-commercial sectors, just like this one, may need help with forming new legal structures and will most likely need guiding through the entire legal process.

“Given the current climate in which such groups are operating and the emphasis on the Big Society agenda, more and more groups of people will be looking to set up their own businesses, particularly now public sector organisations are changing their contracts and outsourcing services.  At Muckle our business advice, as well as our legal expertise, means the people behind these new companies can get on with what they do best – service delivery.

“Just like County Durham ELP did, the key is to seek advice as soon as possible – and that early stage support can be crucial, especially to ensure that the organisation is fit for purpose. At Muckle LLP we pride ourselves on the added value we bring. The advice we give isn’t confined to legal support, we’re business advisers as well. We can help on commercial issues and  provide business and commercial contacts.”

Louise Liddle, member of ELP with Enterprise, said: “We looked at all sorts of different business models to ensure sustainability in this current climate. We are all passionate about ensuring that schools and other organisations can afford to have quality enterprise activities and services when budgets are becoming increasingly tight.

“With the help of Joanne at Muckle LLP we took advice to become a community interest company and created a very flat structure, allowing us to offer enterprise services to schools through harnessing the experience around the table of the ELP Board.  Muckle LLP’s advice and guidance has been invaluable and we are really grateful for their support through this process.”

For more information on how Muckle LLP can help your ELP/community group to become self sustainable please telephone 0191 211 7777 or visit Muckle LLP's website

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