From the inception of Real Ideas, we have always been committed to the places that we love, where we live and where we work. And we are always excited to support other communities who share an equal passion for their neighbourhoods, towns, villages and places.

Communities have the ideas and the power to make the changes that work for them. Though they often need support, connections and resources to make things happen.

Community power tends to rely on three broad factors: ownership, how we can have greater control over the assets and economy around us, from community buildings to new skills, from rewarding work to being better at retaining wealth and resources within our neighbourhoods; organisation, ever growing engagement, inclusion and accountability and creating the spaces and capacity for people to come together and move in shared directions; and opportunity, how we make the best use of the structures that surround us, and if needs be create new ones, from culture, governance and policy, to local government, the law and all the institutions of democracy.

It has been a transformational privilege, alongside communities from across England, to act as the Catalyst Organisation for Power to Change’s Empowering Places programme in our hometown of Plymouth. Along with friends at Coops UK, New Economic Foundation and others, Empowering Place continues to support some 25 community business to start-up and grow, with over 10 new incorporations, over 15 assets moved into community hands and nearly £1m of new funding levered into the city.

Empowering Places is not merely concerned with the here and now but looks to the future. Beyond supporting community action, underpinned by sustainable business, it looks to transform the way we do things, supporting the community entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Empowering Places has supported the city’s inclusive growth strategy and initiatives like Fab City, to promote a more regenerative economy that circulates wealth better and more fairly within communities; pioneer parks and community land banks, to give social enterprises greater access to land and buildings and the State of Us conference to bring us together and to connect with the world.