Social Value in Salford

Social Value graphic

Social Value involves looking beyond making decisions based on financial cost and instead at the wider benefit to a community. 

Salford City Council wants to continue making a difference for Salford and its people. It aims to achieve the most social, environmental and economic value when council funds are spent to make the city a better place in which to live and work. This could mean for example, making sure that local people get jobs when money is spent on new building schemes, or bringing businesses to the city and making sure that those companies reinvest some of their profits back in other services in the community.

The council’s commitment to social value was acknowledged at the Social Enterprise Awards 2016 when it won the ‘Buy Social - Market Builder' award category. This was for its support of and for social enterprise in Salford, by endeavouring to create more opportunities to buy from social enterprises and businesses in Salford, via our council-wide social value approach.

Salford City Council’s Social Value and Sustainability policy

The council’s policy aims to ensure a ‘social return’ from its investment by securing social value from: 

  • Doing responsible business and being a good employer
  • Regeneration, housing and planning activity
  • Business, economic growth/skills and work activity
  • Internal providers, mutuals and joint venture partnerships
  • Applying Salford City Council’s new procurement strategy - which focuses on maximising social value 

Salford City Council aims to continue securing better outcomes via:

  • New procedures and processes for acquiring social value in construction, goods and services
  • Ensuring new developments bring public benefits eg affordable housing/public realm
  • Developing the City Mayor’s Employment Standards Charter to include social value and equalities 

You can download the full Social Value and Sustainability Policy as well as a summary of it at the bottom of this page.

Using Social Value to make Salford 10% better

Salford City Council’s Policy aims to use social value to make the most difference in Salford and make the city 10% better across a variety of social, environmental and economic priority areas. 

For people: building community spirit (increased community strength and resilience)

  • 10% more volunteering means … individuals, groups and communities learning and sharing skills and expertise whilst providing assistance and support to others.
  • 10% more young people in employment, education and training means … they gain skills and work experience, possibly money in their pockets, an opportunity to realise their aspirations and a greater sense of wellbeing.
  • 10% more Salford people saying that they have good wellbeing means … they are likely to be healthier, happier and more able to learn, work, earn and be socially active. 

For the planet: improve environmental sustainability (improved impact of the local environment on people’s wellbeing)

  • 10% less waste means … cleaner streets, reduced fly-tipping, more recycling and each of us thinking ‘do we really need to buy it (whatever that thing is) before we do?’ … could we borrow it instead?
  • 10% more recycling means … more materials being reused and less waste going into the ground.
  • 10% more green travel means … less congested roads, better air quality and greater choice of how and when we travel.
  • 10% more use of parks means … fitter and healthier individuals with positive wellbeing and communities who are better able to learn, work, earn and be socially active

For prosperity: increase local economic benefit (increased number of quality employment opportunities and reduced poverty for local citizens)

  • 10% more companies paying the Salford Living Wage means … increased numbers of employees earning a wage on which to live on and being able to spend money within their local communities.
  • 10% more local people from vulnerable groups accessing new jobs, apprenticeships, training and work experience placements means … increased numbers of disabled people, LGBT and other often excluded or under-represented communities gaining skills and work experience, possibly money in their pockets, an opportunity to realise their aspirations and a greater sense of wellbeing.
  • 10% less fuel poverty means that more Salford households do not have to spend more than 10% of their income on fuel, energy and do not have draughty homes with old and inefficient heating systems.
  • 10% more purchasing from Salford based companies means … increased numbers of new jobs, apprenticeships, training and work experience placement opportunities, money being spent in local communities and a greater sense of wellbeing

What can you do?

Pledge what you can to make Salford 10% better. It doesn’t sound much, but if all businesses, schools, hospitals, councils, community groups etc, committed to do just one thing, then together we can make a real difference. 

Everyone can make a difference in many different ways - from improving their wellbeing (or help someone else to); recycle more, volunteer, use public transport, the park, footpaths and enjoy Salford’s open spaces. 

If everyone does a little bit towards Social Value then together we can make a big impact!

How can partners get involved?

Salford City Council also wants its partners to make a difference. Here’s how: 

  • Businesses can make the Salford Social Value Pledge online and/or sign up to Salford's Employment Charter, and show they are putting Salford first, buying in Salford and setting the standard.
  • All organisations can look for opportunities to increase social value – whether it’s core (direct wellbeing impacts of a service or a contract, e.g. apprenticeship schemes) or added (the value over and above the goods and services) such as social development, local employment, ethical purchasing, low energy use, low waste and emissions. 
  • All organisations can be social value organisations by displaying strong values and ethos which are reflected in their internal and external relationships, operations and delivery. Partnership and collaborative working is also a priority. Find ways to embed this into your workplace and utilise the online social value toolkit.

Salford as a Social Value City

To make Salford a Social Value City, Salford City Council and its partners aim to maximise the benefit from all money invested in Salford. Achieving this involves commitment from the many private sector businesses and the wide variety of service providers in the city. This means embedding a social value approach into every organisation no matter what its size or sector. Social Value looks beyond price alone to the collective benefit of a community and the wider world. It includes positives such as happiness, wellbeing, inclusion, equality, employment and environment.

Salford Social Value Alliance 

The council is a member of the Salford Social Value Alliance which is a partnership of the public sector, private sector and the voluntary community and social enterprise sectors. It was formed to make Salford a better place and the city is already leading the way in building Social Value. 

Further information

For more information about Social Value in Salford, visit:

This page was last updated on 28 February 2024

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