The ‘Locally Rooted’ Community Business: meanings, practices, challenges and the role of community assets

This research explores what being ‘locally rooted’ means to community businesses and how being locally rooted works in practice. Drawing on workshops and interviews conducted with community business staff working in Grimsby, Bristol and Leicester, Dr Bethany Rex and Dr Katrina Foxton and the Social Design Institute (SDI) at University of the Arts London examine the multiple meanings and practices attached to being ‘locally rooted’ by community businesses who were delivering services from transferred assets (community asset transfers known as CATs).

Key findings demonstrate that community businesses identify with the term ‘locally rooted’, believing it to be an apt description of their work, which is informed by an ethic of care and commitment towards people and places. The report argues for sensitivity towards ensuring funding and place-based practices aren’t at odds with the mission of many community businesses towards inclusivity and an always-unfinished process of opening up community spaces and services to people and groups both within and beyond the local.

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