BH Live recognised as a leading social enterprise

BH Live, a charitable trust and social enterprise based in Dorset, Hampshire and London, was highly commended in the Transformative Community Business category at the UK Social Enterprise Awards, held last night at Guildhall, London.

The national awards organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) shines a spotlight on the leading lights of the social enterprise community across the third sector, recognising the outstanding achievements of organisations which trade for a social purpose.

There are approximately 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £60 billion to the economy each year and employing approximately two million people.

BH Live is the south coast’s leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives. At the heart of the UK’s growing social economy its social mission is to encourage greater community health and wellbeing though physical activity and cultural experiences, and to support the local economy.

BH Live engages communities, encouraging affordable access to high quality health and wellbeing services together with a diverse cultural programme to attract and entertain all tastes. Audience development and outreach teams target those in greatest need, using its profits to support its purpose such as hosting community events, free and concessionary access to health and fitness facilities or free swimming for children.

On behalf of BH Live and its partners, Peter Gunn, Chief Executive commented,

“To be amongst the UK’s leading social enterprises, and then have our community impact recognised on a national platform, is incredibly rewarding. I am so very proud of the team’s achievements and humbled by the difference we are making to people’s lives and our communities every day.”

The awards were hosted by award-winning comedian Mark Watson and was also attended by SEUK patron, Chris Addison and acclaimed author and journalist, Caitlin Moran.

Commenting on the ceremony, Peter Holbrook Chief Executive of SEUK said,

“In these challenging and troubling, uncertain times we’re living in, social enterprises are a beacon of hope. They are showing that another way of doing business is possible, one rooted in the values of community, equality and fairness.

This year’s winners are testament to the strength and diversity of the social enterprise movement. It can no longer be seen as a fringe part of our economy but rather as a sector creating real impact both socially and economically. Social enterprises are showing us what the future of business can look like.”

Winners were presented with bespoke trophies made by the social enterprise, Designs in Mind, which employs people with mental health issues. Social enterprises also supplied all the goods and services on the night, including the catering, rigging, drinks, flower displays and goody bags.

The awards were sponsored by Big Society Capital, The British Council, The Co-op, Deloitte, Employers for Childcare, GLL, Landmarc, Linklaters, NatWest, Pinnacle, Power to Change, Prospective, PwC, Santander and Unity Trust Bank. The Big Issue, itself a social enterprise was the official media partner.


Notes to Editors

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For more information, please contact BH Live’s press office on telephone: (01202) 055562 or the Social Enterprise UK press office on 020 3589 4950.

About BH Live
BH Live is the south coast’s leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives. With 3.4 million visits a year and over £39 million turnover we are changing lives and are at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy.

In 2016/17 we had 2.9 million leisure centre attendances, hosted more than 500 events and sold over half a million cultural, sporting and entertainment event tickets. We also welcomed 100,000 conference and exhibition delegates into our venues. This contributed an estimated £44 million to the local economy through business and cultural tourism.

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About Social Enterprises
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social purpose that reinvest or donate over half their profits to further this social or environmental mission. They are an increasingly important part of the UK economy contributing £60 billion and employing 2 million people. Estimates are there are 100,000 in the UK. Research carried out by Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for the sector, shows they are outperforming traditional businesses when it comes to start-up rates, turnover growth and innovation. They are also ahead of the pack when it comes to workforce diversity and pay. For more information and statistics see Social Enterprise UK’s State of Social Enterprise Report: The Future of Business and the ‘Hidden Revolution’ report, launched in September 2018 which showed the true scale and impact of the sector.

About Social Enterprise UK
Together with our members we are the voice for social enterprise in the UK. We build markets, undertake research, provide information and tools, share knowledge, raise awareness and campaign to create a business environment where social enterprises thrive. Our members range from local grass-roots organisations to multi-million-pound businesses.