We’ve been working in Ladywood with Use-It – a European wide programme which has been learning how to connect the many varied communities of the neioghbourhood. To get e feel for that work please watch this video (which features our team sharing our field with so many neighbours)

This is how the people behind the community nurturing work described it:

“This programme has been the most experimental part of USE-IT!

For three years we have worked both with the communities and large asset owners mapping and co-creating opportunities for both. This allowed us to dive deep and understand neighbourhoods and build resilience. We focused on building capacity in the communities to enable them to take greater ownership of their local assets and shape the local economy. As a result, we have become the bridge between communities and large-scale assets. {For example the big hospitals}

  • As the work evolved we supported and empowered communities and fledgling organisations: • to form a consortium of local organisations to
  • develop a community-driven long-term vision for the Edgbaston Reservoir
  • to establish a cooperative that promotes participation and local trading for the benefit of the community
  • to invest in under-utilised assets (e.g., we have turned a local church into a co-working space for local social entrepreneurs, charities, small businesses, and self-employed freelancers)
  • to develop a plan to ensure opportunities around the Commonwealth Games 2022 are maximised
  • we have supported a flagship initiative (Civic Square) to move to the area by negotiating a space for their Neighbourhood Lab with the local housing developer. From creative and artistic approaches to technical work, the Lab will work with all types of interests, skills and knowledge to think, design, and create future civic infrastructure for neighbourhoods. We have also connected local communities and networks with the Civic Square initiative. These assets already existed within the communities but none of this would have happened without USE-IT!

Legacy USE-IT! has demonstrated that urban poverty can be addressed by unlocking local economic prosperity. This is possible by creating links, a bridge, between local macro and micro assets. It requires local, trusted organisations to facilitate relationships between communities and developers or anchor institutions, and also willingness from those institutions to work in partnership. We are certain the model can deliver lasting change and maximise the local economic and social benefits for all, if resources are put into communities to build the bridge between its assets.

For more information please contact: Karolina Medwecka-Piasecka, USE-IT! Project Manager European and International Affairs, Birmingham City Council E: karolina.medwecka@birmingham.gov.uk T: +44 (0)121 303 3064 W: www.useituia.co.uk