Based on a survey of more than 230 voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in the York and North Yorkshire area, this report identifies some key barriers facing VCSE activities and makes recommendations both to the VCSE sector and to the local enterprise partnership (LEP).

VCSE sector organisations employ people, buy goods and services from other organisations and businesses and create demand for other organisations and business.

Two of the VCSE sector's most significant contributions to economic development are as an employer and a supporter of volunteers. At a best estimate, the VCSE sector employs 7 per cent of the sub-region's workforce, and supports an estimated 139,241 volunteers.

The sector also contributes to economic development through the services it delivers to its beneficiaries in York and North Yorkshire, to access training and to enter and sustain work.

However, 70 per cent of VCSE organisations have been adversely affected by the economic climate, especially organisations that employ staff and those with larger annual incomes. Organisations are also relatively pessimistic, with an estimated 36 per cent planning to take
on staff in the future, compared to 63 per cent of VCSE organisations and 70 per cent of private businesses nationally.

This report was commissioned by the York and North Yorkshire Partnership Unit, North Yorkshire and York Forum and Your Consortium Ltd.