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Community spirit

Five ways you can change where you live for the better

Guest blog from Locality.

By Tara Anderson, Head of Communications and Engagement, Locality

Across the country communities are coming together and taking matters in to their own hands by transforming, protecting and shaping the places they live for the better – not least in Big Local areas. From coming up with ways to help tackle the housing crisis, to creating plans that give local people a real say over planning policies and development in their neighbourhood. The My Community website has lots of resources to help you with what you’re already doing and it can also help you discover new ways to make a lasting difference in your area.

Here are five ways you can change where you live for the better and how My Community can help:

1. Start a new community project

Want to save or take over a local asset, improve a space, place or service or plan for the future? It doesn’t have to be scary, and there’s plenty of help out there. This Getting Started page has got you covered – from getting a like-minded group of people together, to securing investment there’s examples of other groups who have done it, options to raise finance and a handy step-by-step guide to get stuck in to.

2. Write a neighbourhood plan

Want to have a say over where new homes, shops and offices are built? Want to improve your high street? Or protect your favourite local spaces? Or ensure there are enough new homes for young families? Join over 2,000 groups creating a neighbourhood plan where they live – a legal document written by and for local communities.

There’s grants available to help you through the process, as well as handy guides, information and support.

3. Set up a community business

Community businesses are set up and led by local people to look after what matters to them. Any profits flow back into the business to deliver positive local impact.

Got an exciting new idea that’s never been done before in your community? In April, a fund called the Community Business Bright Ideas Fund is re-opening, offering a programme of support and grants of up to £20,000 to help groups develop their new ideas.

4. Nominate, transfer or takeover a community asset that matters to you

Know a place or space that could be at risk? Want to protect it for future generations? Thousands of buildings, shops, pubs and green spaces are already being successfully owned and managed by community organisations across England.

Your community can too by nominating, transferring or taking over their local assets.

5. Build your own community-led housing

Is your area is crying out for decent, affordable housing? Why not consider taking some local action to set up your own housing project to build the homes local people want and need? It doesn’t have to be a dream, it’s already being done by inspiring groups.

This handy guide will show you how to get your Community-led Housing project up and running in four easy steps.

Make any of these five changes happen by visiting My Community for information and support! is a one-stop shop for anyone looking to make positive and lasting change in their community. As well as having a wealth of information, resources and case studies, you can also speak to like-minded people who have done it before where they live.

Sign-up to the My Community Fortnightly Digest to get regular updates straight to your inbox, with the latest community news, funding and events.

Get involved in Communities Week 2017

From Monday, 20 March – Friday, 24 March we’ll be celebrating the positive change led by communities across England online and on social media.

There will be new resources, stories from communities, announcements about funding programmes, blogs and more. Each day we’ll be focusing on a different theme, from Community Assets and Green Spaces to Community Business, Enterprise and Funding – you can view the theme for each day here.

Show your support and get involved by following My Community on Twitter and Facebook – sharing your views, experiences and more using the hashag #CommunitiesWeek17.