TH!NK FC and Coalville C.A.N.
TH!NK FC are acting as the catalyst supporting the creation and development of Coalville C.A.N. We will work alongside local individuals and connect the different elements of the project, including bringing in key partners and funders and sharing relevant tools and approaches.
Asset-Based Community Development Model in Coalville – A summary of our approach
There have been many years of ‘interventions’ in communities, with approaches that do not seek to develop the capacity of those ‘worked with’ and focus instead on finding people ‘in need’ and helping them. Approaches that might enable a community to have genuine control fail at the first hurdle due to the lack of financial assets, networks and capacity. With absent landlords, expensive rents, restrictive planning rules, unfair business rates, a lack of trust and confidence in the local authority and a general lack of collaboration the odds are stacked high against the community succeeding.
This model includes setting up Coalville C.A.N as a Community Benefit Society (C.B.S) which will take on assets of local value, and hold these in perpetuity for the community with the aim of using the spaces and places to create long term community sustainability and wellbeing. Coalville C.A.N will hold the contractual relationships, pool risks and provide services. It will support the development of new community projects and enterprises and enable the community to direct how money is spent, helping to create prosperity. It will support the re-imagining of the local town and high street – building on what is strong not what is wrong.
The surplus left from each enterprise, after reinvestment and contingency needs, will then be pooled into Coalville Community Wealth Fund, offering unrestricted income to spend on further developments and projects.
It is important that the learning and the methods can be shared with other towns like Coalville. Sharing the Coalville C.A.N asset based model will mean the results might look different in other places due to their own particular strengths and needs even though the principles and methods shared may be the same. These methods will enable our communities to develop the resilience needed to respond to Brexit, Covid and climate change. However, first the playing field needs to be levelled through investment, showing people it is possible, and unlocking the entrepreneurship, strengths and skills of the local community and giving them the chance to make it happen for themselves.