Dozens of bids for North Liverpool enterprise fund

Wild horses, an urban farm, street food market, an empty homes advisor, a ‘maker space’ near the docks, bands in libraries. These are a handful of the ideas mooted for North Liverpool under the £300,000 LaunchPad initiative.

With a deadline of 11 January for a formal pitch, over 50 ideas from artists, creatives, businesses and local individuals to inspire change in the north of the city have been suggested.

LaunchPad is a £300,000 fund seeking ideas from businesses and individuals. The ideas have to be innovative and creative and respond to six themes; Spaces for change and underutilised assets, mobilising the workforce to tackle unemployment, ‘we make things’ to reclaim production and utilise skills, real life social networks to tackle social exclusion, making money go round for vital investment and radical banking and down at the docks to revitalise the docklands area. The project is looking for 10-15 ideas and pitches that will receive between £300 to £30,000. There are just two rules, all the ideas have to collaborate in the North of the city and the idea must have a social impact in North Liverpool.

From the pitch in January, the ideas will then receive support to be developed sustainability, with mentoring and tailored help.

So far, inspiration has come from those who already work on community projects from Homebaked, a co-operative bakery in Anfield, to Foossaa, a community consultancy in New York.

Since the launch of the competition, people with potential ideas to pitch have been attending surgeries and hack days.

Lee-Sean Huang co-founder and creative director of Foossa, offered some ideas at LaunchPad’s launch event. Huang said: “LaunchPad is about more than just ideas. It is a platform for action, for people to collaborate to improve their communities in concrete ways. We welcome North Liverpool’s Beautiful Ideas LaunchPad to a global movement of civically-minded, entrepreneurial people around the world working to make their communities more vibrant, sustainable, and awesome.”

Developed by a collective of local entrepreneurs and leaders in North Liverpool, LaunchPad is designed to encourage entrepreneurs, ideas-makers and businesses to contribute in a new way to creatively regenerate a neighborhood. It’s driven by The Beautiful ideas Co. CIC, born out of The Beautiful North a regeneration project designed to change attitudes in North Liverpool. Partners include Flanagan Group, Liverpool Housing Trust, Your Housing, Liverpool City Council, LJMU Enterprise, entrepreneur Gemma McGowan, the owner of both the Isla Gladstone Conservatory and The Sandon and Jon Egan.

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In regeneration areas these schemes are a much more satisfying alternative to the mass demolition housing-led schemes of the past. Moreover, they provide an economic base for the houses/population to grow from and to invest locally.

By Alty local

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