Building Resilient Communities

Wessex Community Assets is now a year into the research project on how CLTs and Community Benefit Societies can contribute towards stronger communities. Part of the project is to work in practice with four pilot projects; Community Benefit Societies and CLTs that are embarking on new projects, setting out on the next stage of their life, and reflecting on the experiences of the last few years in their own communities. The pilots are:

  •  Bradworthy CLT is investigating whether to take on a new project such as a community owned woodland or community owned older peoples services/housing.
  • The Red Brick Building is fundraising for extending their usable space
  • Exeter Local Food needs to relocate their local food shop because of the redevelopment of Exeter City Centre
  • Norton sub Hamdon CLT is exploring the viability of a new project – such as renewable energy – whilst reflecting on the experience of taking on their village shop and post office

We’re also keen to find out more about how to best share information, whether groups would like more opportunities to get together, and how groups can support and learn from each other. We’re holding workshops in each county to find out more from those involved in CLTs and community benefit societies. The first one was held on 22 March 2016, the Dorset workshop will be held on Weds 13 April and the Devon workshop will be on Thursday 14 April – venues yet to be booked. There is a grant of £50 available for each participating CLT/CBS to help pay for travel expenses.  We hope that the sessions will be useful for everybody participating as they will offer some tried and tested tools that could be taken away and used in your groups and give the chance to connect some of the different projects involved. Hopefully it will be also a rare opportunity to reflect on some of the wonderful projects that Community Benefit Societies and CLTs have been involved in to date, and those up and coming too. Please contact Alison for more information on alison.ward.cltproject@gmail.com.