Please join us to discuss how Bridport can build its entrepreneurial and local economy on Wednesday 7th December (2 - 5.30pm then Soapbox and mince pies 5.30 - 6.30pm). This coincides with late night shopping and Christmas Cheer, so we can all end by walking our talk and supporting the local retailers!
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Heard of the vibrant ‘Bridport SOUP’ at which 75 local people gathered to hear 4 pitches from local initiatives? The winner was a Bridport youth project, which came away with the takings from the door, over £600! This event is part of the same move towards community-led economic development in Bridport. We’ll have a community Soap box where you can pitch your ideas. Also we’ll look at local food initiatives, and explore ways in which we can transform health & social care and materials for construction so that they’re of greater benefit to the local economy and community. Contributors to this event include Amanda Streatfeild, Tim Crabtree, Alex Picot, Linda Hull, Jonny Gordon Farleigh, and Clare Smith, and we have expert inputs from Frances Northrop (advisor to the national Community Economic Development programme) and Jay Tompt (REconomy Project).
CLS in Dorset has been working with many people in Bridport to pursue a community-led and strategic approach to local economic development, one which fosters a more enterprising and resilient local culture. In the face of the uncertainties brought about by Brexit, the reality of ongoing and far reaching budget cuts, alongside opportunities that could be harnessed from ‘localism’ to climate change, people-powered development will be ever more important.
On 15th September, a group of 15 local food champions began by exploring the question ‘How Can Bridport Feed Itself?’ Whilst the town is known for its vibrant food culture, serving residents and attracting visitors from far and wide, many producers, retailers and employees in the food sector still operate on low profit margins and low wages. Since nearly 71% of Bridport’s £632,000 spend a week on food and drink leaves the area through the four large supermarkets, how much value could we retain in our food economy by buying fresh, seasonal locally produced food from independent retailers? Early indication suggest that if we shifted just 10% of this food spend an extra £2.35 million would be re-spent into the local economy and could translate into more than 50 jobs.
A number of opportunities were identified to help build the local economy through community-driven initiatives. Some of these are already underway and others are still ideas at this stage. These include the Bridport SOUP plus aspirations for a community food hub, a small retailer network, a coffee tax to fund local initiatives plus demand for community supported agriculture. A next step is to progress action planning on some of these ideas. See the detailed event report here.
We can now include Health &Social Care and Building Materials & Resources
Thanks to support from the Community Economic Development Programme funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), we can now add another two topics to the local economic research process.
At the 7th December event we will hear about the growing national policy support for this approach to economic development and other examples of such initiatives around the country. We will also explore questions such as:
What are the opportunities for more community control of health spending, e.g. Personal Budgets?
What is the potential for local and community enterprises?
How could sustainable building materials fit in to more mainstream building programmes?
What opportunities can we identify in Bridport housing initiatives?
How can we make use of the nearby woodlands for the local economy?
2pm Welcome and introduction by Amanda Streatfeild, Denhay Farm, LSI Trustee
Community Economic Development - the context. Support available for social enterprise both locally and nationally Frances Northrop, advisor to the national CED programme.
3pm Workshops to explore the new themes:
Health & social care (facilitated by Clare Smith)
Materials & resources (related to building) (facilitated by Tim Crabtree)
4pm Break followed by action planning on How Can Bridport Feed Itself with Jay Tompt and opportunities for support including information on funding streams, crowdfunding and other skills support.
5.30 - 6.30 Community Soapbox will give enterprising members of the community a first opportunity to pitch their initiatives and project ideas to potential future crowdfunders and more information on other forms of support and funding will be available. We welcome people to join us for just this part of the event. We welcome anyone to pitch a project idea, garner practical support, network! -
All washed down with seasonal mulled apple juice and mince pies!
Attend all afternoon, come for the early or late afternoon sessions, or join us for the Soapbox!