First rural social enterprise zone is Cornwall

Published: Monday 16th Dec 2013

Written by: Charlie

Cornwall has recently been declared as the country’s first rural social enterprise zone. The title has been accredited by Social Enterprise UK and looks to boost Cornwall’s local economy and its level of environment protection, making the area further appealing to visitors to the county.

The Civil Society Minister, Nick Hurd, said the initiative was about “businesses who wanted to use profit for social good”. Two such projects that have already attracted thousands to Cornwall’s rural lands is the Eden Project in Par, near St Austell - the attraction that teaches visitors about the environment both local and worldwide - and Jamie Oliver’s successful restaurant, Fifteen Cornwall.

Such projects and businesses look to continue to attract visitors to coastal St Ives holiday cottages and accommodation throughout Cornwall, as well as benefitting the local community.  As Social Enterprise UK’s chief executive Peter Holbrook stated, Cornwall is “one of the most dynamic places in the UK for social enterprise” and local people want to continue seeing it as such.

As well as being of great benefit to local Cornish residents and visitors to the area, the initiative will see “business leaders, politicians and public agencies recognise that social enterprise has a key role to play in shaping the future of Cornwall”, with such leaders continuing to support the area, added Holbrook in this BBC article.

The Eden Project, Community Energy Plus and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall are all involved in the scheme that, unlike business enterprise zones, looks to support the local community rather than offer financial incentives to businesses. Fifteen Cornwall in Watergate Bay, just round the corner from famed surf spot Newquay, was set up by Oliver in 2006 as a chef training programme and restaurant drawing many people to Cornwall and the local area. This scheme works in line with this new social enterprise initiative by profiting the local area in more ways than purely financial gain.

To book a reservation at Fifteen Cornwall during your stay in the area, visit their website:

Image Credit: Andy G (



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