East of England

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Supporting community business
In the East of England

Close to 150 grants have been awarded by Power to Change to community businesses in the East of England, many of which operate in the hospitality sphere, from community pubs and shops to much needed leisure and sports facilities.

Suffolk, with its beautiful seaside towns like Southwold has also been a priority place. Here, 60% of the houses are occupied as second homes. High rents and high rates are driving independent businesses out of the town and young people are leaving the area because they cannot find meaningful work and housing within their budgets. The area has one of the lowest rates of social mobility in the country.

Power to Change, through its Community Business Fund and Community Shares Booster programme, has helped SouthGen, a community benefit society, redevelop a closed hospital threatened with luxury development, into a Makers, Shakers and Bakers Place creating new businesses, new jobs, new training and new hope for the local people.

“This is a truly unique project, both in its partnership approach and in the range of benefits it will bring to people in Southwold and Waveney. It’s also a great example of a community coming together.”

Doug Field

Chair, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

Case studies
FROM the east of england



Founded by a group of young radicals in Hull in the 1980s, Giroscope’s self-help housing is regenerating the neighbourhood with a new generation of young...

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BlueJam Arts

BlueJam Arts is a dynamic hub for intergenerational music and arts in rural Cumbria which puts young people in the lead of its programmes and operations, and their own creative...

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Bristol Co-operative Gym

Accessible, affordable, and inclusive, Bristol Co-operative Gym is founded by millennials, run by its members, and designed to strengthen everyone in the...

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Coexist Community Kitchen

Coexist Community Kitchen offers a vibrant, welcoming space in central Bristol for people of all ages to find dignity and confidence through cooking....

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People Dem Collective

From a living room meet up to plans to take over a five-story building, People Dem Collective are proudly taking up space in...

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Future Yard

A brand new community venue in one of the country’s most deprived wards exists as a template for how contemporary music venues can be run while proudly proclaiming: The Future is...

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Ten things we've learnt about volunteering

Power to Change recently commissioned a study on the value that volunteers contributed to community businesses. In this blog, Sarah Thelwall describes some of the findings that might be useful for community...

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At Power to Change, our mission is to strengthen community businesses to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges at a local level, including the three biggest challenges of our time: climate change, digital transformation and social inequalities.