ABC Council is named ‘Council of the Year’ at Social Enterprise Awards!

Left to right: Councillor Kevin Savage; Economic Development Services Head of Department Nicola Wilson; Derek Browne Social Economy Programme; Lord Mayor Alderman Glenn Barr; Ronan McNally Economic Development; Sheila Smyth The Right Key; Catherine McNeill Social Economy Programme.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is delighted to have been recognised as ‘Council of the Year’ at the recent Social Enterprise Awards 2021

Organised by Social Enterprise NI, the awards recognise organisations and businesses that give back, enrich communities and make a contribution to society, as well as those who lead them.

The awards showcased the vitally important social enterprise sector in Northern Ireland and was attended online by over 200 guests from social enterprise, private, public and educational sectors.

ABC Council won the much coveted ‘Council of the Year’ awards thanks to its range of innovative and inspiring programmes and initiatives supporting local social enterprises, through the Council’s Economic Development Department’s – Social Economy Programme.

The Social Economy Programme provides an environment where social enterprises can receive bespoke support to start up, grow and thrive. The programme has seen over 75 new startups in the last 3 years – creating over 100 jobs and bringing a range of social benefits to over 20,000 people, in areas such as education, health, sport, and social justice.

During the last year, Council has helped the social enterprise sector across the borough secure over £1M in funding and business support grants as well as assisting new startups.  This approach helped many SE’s survive through the pandemic and reopen as restrictions ease.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr, commented “We are delighted to have scooped this fantastic award, which highlights the inspiring work the Council and its officers do to support our thriving local social enterprise sector.”

“Our local social enterprises play a vitally important role in our borough, delivering much needed services and providing employment – we are very proud of all the social enterprises we have operating in the ABC area and we will continue to support them grow, develop and reach their full potential.”

In addition, one of the Council’s programme participant’s – Madlug – scooped ‘Social Enterprise of the year’ at the awards ceremony and Bleary Business and Community Centre Residents Studyseed secured Highly Commended in the ‘Aspiring leaders category’.

Further information on support for social enterprises can be found at: