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Inclusive wealth creation that is fairly shared is paramount to real sustainable community growth. Brag aims to assist communities by offering a holistic range of support that helps them identify and then tackle whatever needs present themselves. By employing our well evidenced community builder approach we include everyone in the ‘aspiration process’ and ask the community what they think is missing. We then help them to develop a local economic plan that provides vision, resources and support, responding to the economic growth opportunities that they themselves create. The Jobs, employment and inclusive growth then created are a bi-product of this approach.
The traditional delivery model to economic regeneration was, and in some cases still is usually driven by outsiders first identifying “a need”, and then being funded or paid to provide an activity or service to meet that “need “. This approach had worked to a point, however it slowly created a dependency culture where it left the vulnerable in our community feeling like they had needs that could only be met by outsiders and more crucially removed them (the community) from the decision making process.
This approach was then exacerbated by a top down or procurement led approach to service design and delivery with a lack of joined up thinking. Often these services or the support provided was finite and when the grant or funding came to an end the community then felt it was then back where it had started before the intervention had even taken place. Another flaw with this approach was that it tended to focus on housing and public realm works which then created the illusion of community improvement however with no real economic benefits to the community members themselves. Where monies were invested in employability and enterprise activities they tended to be more in line with national directives so did not necessarily dovetail with local regeneration activities or needs.
Sadly since 2010 we have also seen huge cuts in funding particularly within employability and enterprise provision so it was clear that this approach was no longer credible or sustainable.
Our view is that to strengthen communities now we need to realise the whole potential of that community, drilling down into the specific needs of that area where we then work with that community to come up with tangible solutions. This new approach involves the robust use of all community assets. These could be the people themselves or other local resources or assets that are currently being under utilised. Our job is to help the people see the opportunities they have and then work with those that own or control those assets. Our aim is to join up the right people to get the right things moving.