Previously identified as Social Investment in our first plan and later as Community Growth, we have broadened this priority heading to Community Economic Development. We feel this better describes all the things that can support an individual to grow both personally and financilly which in turn boosts the local economy. This area covers a range of issues from skill building, employment and enterprise, to financial resilience. We’ve held initial conversations with the Credit Union and Citizens Advice Bureau to identify demand for financial support services and debt advice in the area. We’ve also explored options to encourage social enterprise, supporting local people to develop their skills and employment opportunities, whilst also resulting in a range of services benefitting the whole community.
In general, Community Economic Development includes:
- access to services such as the Citizens Advice Bureau
- advice on money matters and support with Debt Managment
- access to training and job search support
- tackling poverty and those in the poverty trap (which surprisinlgy are often people in employment but on low wages)
- personal development, empowerment and the creation of enterprise opportunites
We recognise that many of the social and economic issues in our community are interconnected, and we want to build on the existing skills, knowledge and resources in the area to make North Meets South a better place to live, work and play.
During the next 2 years we plan to prioritise the activities detailed below.
- Financial advice and support in collaboration with organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau and Credit Union
- Social enterprise training and support for local people, including start-up funding or grants for new enterprise, and exploring the possibility of dedicated enterprise space in the area
- Training, confidence building and mentoring for people of all ages, supporting their progression to education, employment and enterprise
- Explore the potential for partnerships with local businesses/tradespeople to develop and encourage training opportunities and apprenticeships
- Explore the potential for a Big Local Community Hub from which a range of community services and activities can take place