West Midlands

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Supporting community business
In the West Midlands

Much of the UK’s industrial revolution began in Birmingham and the Black Country area of the West Midlands. The region is home to a number of globally competitive companies, but locally it’s a very different story. Deprivation is high with 34.5% of local areas amongst the most deprived in the country, and unemployment is higher than the UK average. 

Despite the challenges, the West Midlands had experienced a resurgence pre-pandemic thanks to growth in the business and professional services sector and high levels of business tourism, all driven by a young workforce. However underlying this growth, significant issues persisted with inequality, poverty, youth unemployment, low skills, poor health and school performance.

Since 2015, Power to Change has invested £5.2m into the region with the majority of this going to community hubs. 

With a dedicated focus on the West Midlands, Power to Change has supported the regeneration of disadvantaged areas in the region by helping to establish a community-led housing hub, strengthening communities through greater community cohesion, and increased resilience through the long-term ownership and stewarding of assets.

West Midlands Urban Community Homes has focused on the urban areas of the West Midlands conurbation and formed alliances with community housing hubs emerging in the surrounding rural areas of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire and are involved in a number of emerging projects in the area. Their vision is to see 5% of homes built in the West Midlands by 2031 to be community-led.

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Case studies
FROM the West Midlands



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.