The Future Towns Innovation Hub, Enterprise M3 LEP and The Good Economy are teaming up to stimulate long-term, sustainable growth across Hampshire and Surrey.

The Good Economy, a specialist in place-based impact investing, believes institutional investors are keen to collaborate with economic development partners to generate better, long-term wellbeing outcomes.

This project with Enterprise M3 LEP comes at a time when the economic functions of LEPs are transitioning to local authorities from 1 April 2024, and presents a prime opportunity for stakeholders to collaborate on new initiatives to build on the legacy of LEPs.

Mark Hepworth, co-Founder and Director, Research and Policy at The Good Economy said: “The UK’s global financial sector is looking to play a new leadership role in delivering sustainable and inclusive growth at the local and regional levels. This timely shift in financial markets supported by the Government’s levelling up policies is good news for local authorities – as principal architects of place-based initiatives. Institutional capital is urgently needed to finance economic development from housing and business growth to clean energy, infrastructure, and regeneration. I believe that innovative and dynamic Place-Based Impact Investment partnerships between investors and local authorities are the future of economic development in the UK.”

Professor Clint Styles, co-Director at the University of Southampton’s Future Towns Innovation Hub, said: “At the heart of this approach is the need to bring innovative methods, partners, and funding to unlock the true growth potential of localities in Hampshire and Surrey. This is critical to delivering complex economic development goals against the backdrop of a climate challenge, rising inequalities, and a productivity challenge.”

During February and March 2024, a range of activities are being planned, including:

  • An online, introductory session explaining place-based impact investment.
  • An in-person, full day workshop exploring the scope for place-based impact investment, how to make an effective pitch, and identifying potential projects for funding.
  • A follow-up, online ‘clinic’ to help local partners to develop their project ideas in order to attract funding from institutional investors.  

Enterprise M3’s Head of Policy and Intelligence, Sajid Butt, said, “This is an exciting time for economic development as local authorities prepare to build on the economic strengths and successes of the region over the last decade from the work of the LEP and other valued partners. Place-based impact investing can enhance the prospects for ‘good growth’ to deliver lasting change for residents, economies, and the environment. We encourage all relevant stakeholders to participate.”

For more information, please email

Impact Investing aiming for better economic growth across the region

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