Widening Horizons

“If money was no object, what could Transition New Mills achieve?”

Since we formed in 2011, Transition New Mills has built firm foundations with around 20 people actively engaged in projects, an online presence (including blog and Facebook), over 200 members and supporters, as well as boring-but-necessary stuff such as a constitution, bank account and governance structure.

We’ve completed a number of projects including:

  • Raising over £400 towards solar panels on New Mills School roof
  • Helping stop the spread of the invasive species Himalayan Balsam in Mousley Bottom
  • Enabling new allotment spaces to become available to grow more local food.

All of this has been achieved with very little money. What we’ve spent has come from members, supporters and donations, coupled with – of course – the efforts of volunteers who have to balance community effort with full-time jobs and other commitments.

But what if money was no object? This is not an idle question – there are a number of funding sources of which we are only just becoming aware. In 2012 we successfully secured £1,000 from Derbyshire County Council for awareness-raising materials (such as our new banner), but there is much more that is available from sources such as the Big Lottery Fund. What we can achieve is limited only by our vision of the possible – not by money!

Other groups have secured funding for some pretty big projects:

  • A fish farm at a school in Todmorden providing local food and opportunities for learning real-life skills in business, biology and more
  • New wood production and biomass heating systems providing sustainable energy and increased biodiversity
  • Improved urban parks providing jobs for young unemployed people and a transformed local environment.

Most of these needed fairly substantial investment. But we don’t have to spend large sums to make waves. What if we had a couple of thousand pounds to pay for a high-profile speaker, or £5,000 to pay for a website for a local skills directory, or, or…?

With all this in mind, we would like to invite you to brainstorm ideas with us to widen our horizons for Transition New Mills with money no object. We’d like to provide an opportunity for ‘visioning’, so we can start to imagine what New Mills would look, feel, smell and sound like if we woke up in 2030 having transformed our community. And to explore the first steps we need to take to get us there.

If you are up for the conversation, please join us for tea, coffee, cake and envisioning the future!

Sign up here for the workshop in St George’s Parish Hall, 14:00-16:00, 29 November 2014.

Published by Michael Daw

When working for Manchester Met University, I'm responsible for facilitating strategic relationships with businesses and other external organisations. When doing Transition New Mills, I'm on the Steering Committee and facilitating the Energy Action Group.

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