What is the issue?
Throughout the UK many local people have experienced decline within their communities. Services and valued community assets, such as public transport, shops, pubs, and schools, have been removed or are at risk of being lost. House prices have risen disproportionately in relation to income, and many people, especially younger families, find themselves priced out of villages they felt connected to through family or employment. Families are no longer being able to rely on one another for childcare and care of older relatives, due to not living locally to one another. Those on lower incomes find their incomes further squeezed through the high cost of housing, or find that their housing is inadequate through overcrowding and may be forced to move away from family and employment. Villages have become disproportionately populated with retired people, and many homes that formerly were family homes have become second homes for those primarily living elsewhere. This makes the community less protective, and consequently less resilient. Local people believe that their communities are in danger of becoming unsustainable in the long term.
What will the project try to achieve?
Wessex Community Assets will investigate how a Community Land Trust (CLT) support project can build on its current, strong relationships with community groups to support CLTs and other community based organisations to build on its achievements within the community and take on other assets important to that community. The CLT can be supported to become a diverse vehicle that can support that community to become more resilient.
The project is an action learning project. It seeks to gain a deeper understanding of how CLTs and community led asset owning organisations evolve; the motivations behind them; what is the most appropriate support, or intervention required to ensure that the community organisation genuinely brings about community resilience; and how this can be measured.
WCA will support a minimum of four pilots to work towards taking on other assets in their community, and to produce evidence of how this happens and then recommendations of how this process can best be supported by a catalyst organisation such as a CLT support project.
Who might be interested in this project?
CLTs and other community groups interested in the potential of taking on multiple assets in their community; professionals working with CLTs and community asset owning organisations; those interested in CLTs, their economic impact and their evolution – including academics, practitioners, advisers, and those working in community development (with special regard to asset based development).