Main photo by Andy Dyer, Eden Rivers Trust

Spotlight on LENs governance

When trades begin to expand, some form of organisational infrastructure, and governance, is required to manage and broker them in an equitable, transparent and locally accountable manner. A local ‘delivery organisation’ can enable ongoing decisions over time, manage any tensions, react to new knowledge and changing circumstances and provide support for the supply side. Its exact shape and capabilities will vary in each region according to the stakeholders involved and the needs of the network.

In Cumbria, this organisation is in the process of being set up and will take the form of a Community Interest Company (CIC). It will be led by a small board representing three constituencies: buyers, suppliers, and statutory and local bodies.

Its core executive functions will include convening both the demand and supply sides, facilitating transactions and building the pipeline of trades. Additional functions, depending on the circumstances, could include managing contracts, handling funds, commissioning modelling and verification, and facilitating government grants. Depending on the scale of the transaction network, executive functions will be carried out by dedicated staff, or outsourced to appropriate individuals and organisations by the board.

This organisation will have an explicitly narrow focus on developing and facilitating trades. It does not take on roles such as making plans and strategies for the local area, but remains accountable to these plans through the representation of statutory bodies on its board. It will be independent, locally led, not for profit and low maintenance.

Want to learn more or get involved?

Contact Tom Curtis

Cumbria LENs at a glance


Understanding business needs from a landscape

Convening demand and supply sides to build a trading community

Building up a network with further trades and local governance

Start date Spring 2017
Summary Our trading community has already conducted two trades delivering on soil health and water quality. We are currently building up further trades and building a local governance structure.


  1. Initial unilateral trade between United Utilities and farmers around Calthwaite Beck, co-ordinated by the Eden Rivers Trust.
  2. Ongoing second trade, valued at over £700k per year, where Nestle and United Utilities are procuring common interest nature-based solutions. These focus on delivering soil health and water quality, for example interventions to reduce phosphorus pollution in watercourses. They are delivered by farmers around the Petteril River co-ordinated by First Milk.
  3. A developing third trade around Greystoke in the upper Petteril, where Cumbria County Council and Environment Agency are contributing flood management funds and United Utilities is contributing phosphorus management funds to a set of common interest nature-based solutions.

Key partners 

Nestle, United Utilities, The First Milk dairy cooperative, Eden Rivers Trust, National Trust, Green Alliance, Environment Agency, Catchment Sensitive Farming groups, Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council

Would you like to know more?

+44 (0)1865 236500

7 Fenlock Court
Blenheim Business Park
Long Hanborough
OX29 8LN
United Kingdom

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