Far from being a nation of 1980’s NIMBYS, people today are looking to take action to make their own neighbourhoods better and forming a new generation of CIMBYs who support “community in my backyard.”
- 34 million “CIMBYS” want to take action to improve their local area
- Two-thirds (65%) are frustrated in their local area and half (52%) ready to set up a community business to take power into their own hands
New research to mark the first day of Community Business Weekend (4th-7th May 2018, #CBwkd18) has revealed that over 34 million members of the public would like to see more community action to save local resources and provide local services. 
The majority surveyed (77%) want to see local people take on the running of places and services neglected for so long – from pubs to hubs, shops to cinemas, farms to parks. Nearly half (49%) are prepared to take action themselves to make this happen.
But the nation’s CIMBY desires are being held back as many claim that they don’t see enough investment in their local area, with services and spaces needlessly dying when local people are poised and willing to take action. For example, 60% believe their local library is at risk of closure, half feel locally-run shops may close and a third (34%) have seen a local pub at risk from closing down.
The findings come on the first day of Community Business Weekend where hundreds of community businesses around the country will be throwing open their doors and encouraging local people to seize the opportunity to be the difference in their communities.
This research highlights the concern people across the country have about the loss of local spaces and services and the lack of community power
“Community businesses are a great example of local people taking power into their own hands. Every day tens of thousands of people get up and go to work at one of the thousands of community businesses in England. Hundreds of thousands of us shop, visit or benefit from them directly but they are still relatively unknown.
“That’s why Community Business Weekend is so important. It shines a light on these community-run gems that protect not only much needed services and spaces to communities but boost local economies and reinvest the profits for the benefit of local people.”
There are around 7,000 community businesses in England  with a combined market income of £1.2bn. Almost a third (29%) are born of frustration at a lack of local level action by government, but the majority are set up with more positive motives . Almost three quarters (72%) of community businesses are set up to help bring the community together and 60% are established to meet the specific needs of the local community.
This burgeoning sector ranges from community-owned bakeries to community-run ferries, Victorian bath houses to Victorian piers, oyster farms to lobster hatcheries, all of which are reinvesting in the local area to help benefit local people and enhance local economies across the country.
Community Business Weekend offers a unique opportunity for community businesses across England to open their doors and for local people to visit and see how they can get involved and address challenges they face together. Those joining in include community farms and gardens, community shops, hubs, sports clubs and pubs. What they all have in common is that they are accountable to their community and that the profits they generate deliver positive local impact.
It’s fantastic to see so many people share in our belief that communities working together can be a power for good.
“Residents witnessed the sad decline and neglect of Hopwood Rec as it became somewhere people didn’t want to go to. Over the past seven years, the Friends of Hopwood Park have transformed it into a beautiful space where children play, a wildflower garden blooms and locals can exercise.
“With the addition of our community businesses – Hopwood Cabin refreshment stall and The Tree House Café which is due to open in the next few months – we are now looking forward to having a steady income to make further improvements to the park and become self-sustainable.
“We definitely believe in ‘community in our back yard’ and would urge everyone to find out about local community businesses and get involved in taking power back into local people’s hands.”
Gemma Cassin from Oswestry in Shropshire claims being involved in her community business, furniture store Chalk CIC, “has totally changed my life. It’s given me confidence and a passion to learn and change the local area for the better.”
To find out more about events happening near you, visit communitybusinessweekend.org
Notes to editors:
Figures, unless stated, are from research commissioned by Power to Change with Sapio Research. Sapio interviewed 2,020 members of the public in April 2018 and results weighted to be reflective of the English population.
 There are 44,130,533 English residents over the age of 18. 77% of this number is 33,980,510
 Power to Change surveyed 48 community businesses on their motivations for establishing a community business in April 2018.
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About Community Business Weekend (#CBwkd18):
- Community Business Weekend, which is organised by Power to Change, exists to celebrate and shine a light on the 7,000 community businesses across the country.
- For more information visit communitybusinessweekend.org
About Power to Change:
Power to Change is an independent trust, whose funding is used to strengthen community businesses across England. At a time when many parts of the UK face cuts, neglect and social problems, we are helping local people come together to take control, and make sure their local areas survive and stay vibrant. Follow Power to Change on Twitter at @peoplesbiz and visit www.powertochange.org.uk for the latest community business news.
About the Campaign Collective:
Campaign Collective is a social enterprise dedicated to providing marketing, public relations and communications support to organisations that deliver a public good. Campaigncollective.org