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This research study focused on the barriers experienced by four councils when they explored the possibility of spinning out public services and/or the challenges of the spin-out process itself. The research looked at solutions that were identified and used to overcome these barriers.

Semi-structured interviews were held with eleven participants from the four councils involved in the project. The participants were senior managers or officers who had been key stakeholders in the options development or spin-out processes. This report recommends the following:

  • Ensure that any spin-out has a robust business case, including sufficient market demand.

  • Engage with all stakeholder groups regularly throughout the entire spin-out process.

  • Communicate regularly and clearly with other relevant departments in the council, particularly the legal, human resources and finance departments.

  • Be aware that service staff are taking both a professional and personal risk in spinning out.

  • Recognise that service staff may not have all of the business, financial and management skills to set up and run a social enterprise.


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