Step by step

Step by step

Identify needs, relevant policies, possible locations then future threats and opportunities

First of all, identify needs in your local community. The list of ideas in the introduction section provides a good starting point to think could be offered. It’s also worth checking with your local councils to find out if they have any plans to change the way how they will deliver services in future.

Second, identify any local council plans and policies that might help or hinder you. There might be a need identified in the local plan for a community facility. You may want to engage in the planning system, if there is a new development proposed that could threaten the viability of existing shops or services or if you can influence a plan being consulted on. Equally, there may be scope for a hub in a new development or for funding from it to promote sustainable travel choices to new residents and businesses. See the linking transport and planning section for more information.

Thirdly consider possible locations. In a sparsely populated rural area there may just be one shop, pub and village hall that forms the core of the community, so it is best to work with what is already there. In a suburban area you might have the option of a station or a health centre that could be good places to see if you could add functions to. For larger projects you might consider information points at key places like health centre, shopping centre, high street, farmers’ market. Better still you could seek to work with the people running these and so share costs while ensuring a steady flow of people passing by.

Finally, consider how a hub could develop in response to threats and opportunities in the future. You’ll need to do this in order to come up with a robust business plan.

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