A new partnership to support social entrepreneurs to thrive in their communities.

Revive & Thrive have a media partnership with UnLtd

Investing in Social Entrepreneurs

Revive & Thrive is always pleased to receive and share stories about social entrepreneurs such as this one from media partners, UnLtd –

UnLtd and Local Trust have announced £2.8m will be invested in building sustainable and socially-beneficial local economic growth in communities around England as part of a new support offer.UnLtd Supporting Social Entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurs are improving their local communities across the UK, working hard to respond to specific challenges in their areas. In a new partnership, UnLtd, Local Trust and 19 Big Local areas will be working together to accelerate social enterprise and increase local job creation over a three-year co-funded support programme.

The 19 areas taking part span a wide range of communities, including rural areas, new towns, market towns, suburbs and cities. All of them are part of the Big Local programme, a unique initiative that provides £1m and a package of support to each of 150 areas in England. Each of the areas put forward a proposal to UnLtd outlining their ambition to strengthen local social enterprise, and the selection panel also drew on UnLtd’s energy index, which measures social entrepreneurial activity in a neighbourhood.

The 19 participating areas are: 

London and the South East:

Bountagu Big Local, in Enfield

St James St Big Local, in Walthamstow

William Morris Big Local, in Walthamstow

South Bermondsey Big Local, in Southwark

Riverside Community, in Essex

Dover Big Local, in Kent 

South West:

Par Bay Big Local, in Cornwall

St Peter’s and The Moors Big Local, in Cheltenham

Whitleigh Big Local, in Plymouth 

Midlands:

Birchfield Big Local, in Birmingham

Palfrey, in Walsall 

North: Big Local Central Jarrow

Little Hulton Big Local, in Salford

Collyhurst Big Local, in Manchester

Sale West Big Local, in Greater Manchester

Barrowcliff Big Local, in Scarborough

Greatfield Big Local, in Hull

Tang Hall Big Local, in York

Keighley Valley Big Local, in West Yorkshire

Social entrepreneurs are uniquely well-placed to create change in their local UnLtd supports social entrepreneursareas because they deeply understand the problems facing their communities. The new partnership will support Big Local areas who are working to make their places even better, boosting confidence and inspiring other local people to tackle the challenges that matter to them.

With support from UnLtd, each Big Local area will be able to:

  • Access an annual grant fund of more than £16,000 in each area
  • Get dedicated help and support from UnLtd staff to unlock people’s potential and support the growth of social ventures in the area.
  • Forge new connections with local decision makers, government and investor communities, to create a culture where social entrepreneurs can thrive.

The three partners are contributing equal financial support, with UnLtd, Local Trust and each of the 19 Big Local areas providing £50,000 towards the project for the next 3 years, with work starting in January 2018.

CASE STUDY

In York, UnLtd will be working with Tang Hall Big Local to support social entrepreneurs like Sue Williamson, who founded Tang Hall SMART to fill a void in her community after the local school closed.

Using her experience as a teacher and skills as a musician, she gives vulnerable people the chance to be involved in a community, enjoy themselves and participate in music and the music industry. As her venture has grown she has begun to offer employment to other local people who have been farthest from the labour market and launched her own record label.

Sue is one of a collective of social entrepreneurs in the area working to Revive & Thrive supports UnLtd and social entrepreneursprovide resident-led services that benefit local people, from pre-school & Yorkey dads’ cookery to all-inclusive riding classes from ages 18 months to seniors.

Mark Norbury, UnLtd CEO said: “We are living in increasingly turbulent times; economically, culturally and socially. The social challenges we face have no easy answers, but Local Trust and UnLtd understand that the solutions lie with social entrepreneurs who have the spark and commitment to change their community for the better. We must invest in the energy, talent and ideas in these local people and communities. This partnership will enable them to have a voice, create opportunities and build confidence so that they become fairer, more optimistic and resilient communities. There’s lots of hard work to come, but we’re looking forward to rising to this challenge.”

Matt Leach, Local Trust Chief Executive, said: “Residents involved in Big Local have a brilliant track record of finding imaginative ways to meet local needs. We’re delighted to renew our partnership with UnLtd and offer further support to Big Local areas that are harnessing local entrepreneurial spirit to explore and develop new social enterprises.”

This work is part of a wider focus for UnLtd on building resilient communities, through harnessing the power of social entrepreneurs. In total, over the next three-years UnLtd plans to support 400 social entrepreneurs to transform their places for good. This will involve funding and supporting ventures to help them grow, building new collaborations between social entrepreneurs and other organisations, enabling access to further investment, and fostering a local support infrastructure of embedded social ventures.

On the outskirts: towns in public policy

‘The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow’, according to Bill Gates.

Read all about opportunities for towns in Revive & Thrive's Place Magazine
Read stories suggesting opportunities for towns in Revive & Thrive’s Place Magazine

But while it is true that digital spaces can contribute to informal support systems in our online relationships with family and friends, and increasingly, formal support systems in digital public services, they cannot provide us with the physical places that contribute to our wellbeing. Digital spaces alone cannot provide us with the same unique sense of place, identity, and shared history as the physical places of where we call home – from small rural settlements to large urban cities, to upland, lowland, and coastal communities.

And a town is where millions of us across the UK and Ireland call home. What our towns are ‘known for’ – an industry, a prominent historical figure, or renowned architecture – forms part of the local, positive story about where we live. But in direct contrast to this, in national policy the narrative is largely negative and one of decline. Our towns are defined in relation to the nearest city – as ‘commuter’, ‘satellite’ or ‘dormitory’ – or by their past – as ‘former-coal’ or ‘post-industrial’ – in need of regeneration, resilience or future-proofing.

Has such a framing of towns at the national level influenced the priorities, funding, and focus of our governments in developing place-based policies?

The Carnegie UK Trust’s new report provides an overview of the main policies and initiatives designed to improve economic, social, environmental, and democratic outcomes in places across the jurisdictions. At the regional level, the impact of City Deals and related cities policy is rendering the regions surrounding powerhouse cities, and their composite towns, as the secondary focus for investment. Equally dominant in the place-based approach taken by governments across the jurisdictions is investment in rural areas, which includes surrounding towns on the basis that they are in fact vital, if only for the economic development of rural areas. Integrating towns into rural policy assumes that supporting rural areas with a range of goods and services is the primary function of nearby towns, but there is very little data available to support this expectation.

Carnegie Trust improve well being for towns across the UK The operating assumption appears to be that investment in nearby cities and rural hinterlands will inevitably lead to improved outcomes for their surrounding towns, despite towns being fundamentally different socio-economic geographies which require their own dedicated policy solutions to improve their performance.

While at the local level, whether the focus is on town centre regeneration, as in Scotland; in heritage, as seen in Ireland; or general urban regeneration, as in Northern Ireland, policies are operating at a sub-town level – focusing on physical parts of a town or individual communities with it – to the detriment of the wider town in which they sit. But austerity means that this approach is piecemeal – never translating into anything more than the sum of its parts to consider the town in its totality.

This dual focus – on the external city or surrounding rural hinterland and internal sub-town community or part of a town – means that towns are a neglected area of public policy. They are rarely taken as the starting point for formal policymaking, or have the policy levers available to them to influence their fortunes.

So what can be done to address this policy gap?

The rhetoric of devolution and decentralisation needs to be matched with the reality of more decision-making powers for towns; more data about towns and evidence about what works; and more opportunities for towns to work together. From international initiatives such as the World Towns Framework, to the UK cross-border such as the Borderlands Initiative, to the more immediately local such as the South of Scotland Alliance, there are opportunities for towns to share skills, knowledge and resources. These must be built upon to share successes, and challenges, to improving our places. Only through greater collaboration will towns and their practitioners have the strength in numbers to hold their own in the national policy arena with the well-resourced organisations advocating for the interests of cities and rural areas. Only through greater collaboration will it be time for towns.

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Place for Twons and Cities Magazine issue 18

High Street Heroes continue to inspire

Many years ago (well, about five, actually) when Mark Barnes launched Revive & Thrive it was in part off the back of a Twitter campaign he created and ran called “Retweet for towns” day – #RT4towns.If you are high street heroes download Revive & Thrive's Place for Towns and Cities Magazine here.  Issue 18 is out now

The campaign was incredibly successful, with 4,600 unique tweets from nearly 1,000 discrete accounts that hit timelines globally around 6,000,000 times over the space of 24 hours.

For me, the most remarkable thing was that, of those 4,600 tweets, only one keyboard warrior took to Twitter to berate the place they lived in – every single other tweet was a positive take on the places that high street heroes love up and down the country. 

Over the last week or so, I’ve been doing a little more research than usual into what people are doing in their places up and down the country and it inspires me as much now as it did four years ago how much people are passionate about the places they live and work in.

Every month we publish lots of stories about these projects and initiatives (and we’d always be happy to publish more, so please do let us know what you’re up to!), and whether it’s about celebrating success, delivering innovative and unique events, creating fabulous experiences,
supporting the businesses in our communities or lobbying for change or improvements, the capacity that people have for improving their places always impresses and humbles me.

So, well done to all of you! Whatever part you play in supporting your town, city, village or high street, you are a High Street Super Hero (a nickname once bestowed on me, but I don’t like to talk about that…!). Keep up the good fight to make our places the best that they can be – and
don’t forget to tell us how you are doing so.

Matt Powell
Revive & Thrive Director
E: matthew@reviveandthrive.co.uk

P: 03330 124285

Communities Make Places

Communities make places by Alison Bowcott-McGrath

Communities should nurture civic pride

 

In a recent white paper, the Local Government Association acknowledged a growing recognition of the importance of cultural activities in the lives of people, communities and places. It states, “What is local and unique has special value and should be supported and encouraged.” Cultural identity is strongly tied to a sense of belonging, engagement, understanding and appreciation of where people live. Civic pride raises the confidence and aspirations of a community.

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Articles like this one from Alison Bowcott-McGrath can be found in this month’s Place Magazine. Download now for free

Above and beyond urban design, placemaking is instrumental in shaping our environment to better serve the community and support its future growth. It’s about defining space through cultural creativity, economic activity, and social connectivity. Listening to the community is key, residents provide important information used in assessing the effective delivery of services that are meant to benefit them. As placemaking professionals, the earlier we involve them, the better.  

Seems obvious really doesn’t it? It’s about listening to the people whose lives we affect in the places we regenerate. It’s about forming strong partnerships between local government, the private sector and community organisations to pool our resources, knowledge and expertise.

An inspiring example is the Camden Highline. Taking its cue from NYC’s famous park, The Highline, Camden BID (Camden Unlimited) is spearheading a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a feasibility study towards making the project a reality. London mayor, Sadiq Khan joins over 200 residents, community groups and businesses that have already pledged support to turn a half-mile stretch of disused railway line into a new public park and garden walk.

Inspiring Communities

Urban gardening project, Incredible Edible in Todmorden was started by a group of like-minded people whose aim was to bring people together in building a kinder, more sustainable community, and help change attitudes and behaviour towards the environment. The locally grown food is shared by the community and since its conception in 2008 has become a full-fledged movement. Their ethos has been taken up by communities all over the world and there are now 120 Incredible Edible official groups in the UK and more than 700 worldwide.

Finally, after attending the annual conference of the Institute Place Management in Manchester a few weeks ago, a couple of other initiatives caught my attention:

Jan Brown from Liverpool John Moores University, presented “Connecting the Sound Tracks of Our Lives: Marketing Places Through Music.” Jan proposed innovative marketing campaigns using various media to create multisensory communications. Her paper explores the various music styles of a place and how they connect the community inclusively.

In her book, Cara Courage, a collaborative creative placemaker and arts consultant, explores the role of art in placemaking in urban environments. She analyses how artists and communities use arts to improve their quality of life and explores the concept of social practice placemaking, where artists and members of the community are equal experts in the process. Arts in Place. The Arts, the Urban and Social Practice by Cara Courage

Working together, as an inclusive community that includes professional placemakers, artists, musicians, local councils and residents, we can create better places to live. When the environment inspires us, our connections strengthen and we become truly aware of the community.Revive & Thrive Corporate Advocate PinPointer writing about inspiring communities

Alison Bowcott-McGrath

Founder and Managing Director

PinPointer UK and MAYNINETEEN Ltd

Building 8, Exchange Quay, Salford, Greater Manchester, M5 3EJ

E: alison@pinpointer.uk | T: 0161 850 1400 | M: 07870 176949