Calculating Social Value

The Rural Services Network was delighted to have the Social Value Engine developed by East Riding Council and Rose Regeneration featuring as a topic at the Rural Economy meeting yesterday. (25 Jan).

What is the Social Value Engine?

Developed through an innovative partnership between East Riding of Yorkshire Council and private sector consultancy Rose Regeneration, the Social Value Engine (SVE) is a web based tool which aims to systematise the calculation of the intangible social benefits of any project or service delivery. 

The Engine has been developed in response to the Public Services (Social Value Act 2012) which requires Public Bodies to think about how they can also secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits and has been developed to help organisations measure social value particularly in delivering projects and programmes.

Why is it important?

Measuring Social Value is all about valuing outcomes achieved by an initiative. Measuring the tangible costs and outputs of an activity is straightforward; the greater challenge is giving a value to the benefits it provides. It’s even harder to do this in the context of place. That’s what the Social Value Engine is all about. Social Return on Investment produces a description of how a project creates value and a ratio that states how much social value (in £) is created for every £ of investment. This technique is important for calculating social value and wider project benefits. It allows us to communicate the tangible value to society, which may not be recorded by other means, of the actions of organisations and individuals.

What benefit are users gaining from using the tool?

There are a wide range of organisations currently using the Social Value Engine from county councils to Fire and Rescue services and charity organisations.  You can click here and here to see examples of how it is being used. 

Users input information about their projects and using Social Return on Investment Principles, the tool will give you a project report and demonstrate the impact of the project in a place based approach. 

How do I access it?

You can find out more by visiting

There is currently an offer available for members of the Rural Services Network who can recieve a discount on the purchase of the Social Value Engine.  This factsheet has more information for RSN members. Click here to view the factsheet. 


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