New community space for Newton Abbot opening 2019

Exterior panels - visualWe have been working on a project in Newton Abbot since September 2016 and this year should see this fabulous new space open. It’s not a finished case study yet but we wanted to give you a flavour of what this exciting project has involved.

What was the change they wanted to make?

In its current location, Newton Abbot Town Council and Museum face significant challenges; distance from the town centre, accessibility, signage and space which results in a lower use of the facilities. It has taken 15 years to find a suitable site but in August 2016 the Town Council purchased a disused, listed building in the centre of town, the former St Leonard’s Church. This project will create a purpose-built museum and community space. It will provide a larger, accessible central location attracting local and national visitors to the accredited museum and enable more stories of Newton Abbot and its surrounding areas to be told in exciting and innovative ways, enable local residents to access the Town Council services more easily and provide affordable community space.

What did we do?

We worked with the Town Council and developed a Business Case for the proposed move. This was used as the underpinning document, which alongside community consultation and events, formed the basis of a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Having a successful first round at the first attempt, we then supported the project through the second round. As Project Co-ordinator, we aided the development of a Project Board, wrote the terms of reference, drafted tender documents for all professional services, supported the procurement process, and submitted other funding bids.

The project is on-going and we manage reporting to funders and the Project Board, co-ordination of the working group team for fortnightly meetings and liaison with the professional services construction team (project manage, architect, quantity surveyor etc).

What happened?

The project is still in full swing and we will update this case study as it progresses.

So far, we have helped to secure £900k through the Heritage Lottery Fund and a further £350k through other funders. The construction team are on site and the building is due to open to the public at the end of 2019.


ESSENCE goes farming!

Social Enterprise and Co-operatives group ESSENCE are meeting at Westtown Farm, Ide, EX2 9TG 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm on Tuesday 29th May.

This is the first of the Essence outdoor excursions: it is an opportunity to leave your desk and venture into the countryside to see a social organisation at work.

West Town Farm is a working organic farm near Ide, 3 miles from the centre of Exeter. The farm is part of the Higher Level Stewardship, runs a range of educational and cultural activities and hosts Organic Arts.

On the 29th May we have the opportunity to visit the farm and be taken on a tour by the farmer Andy Bragg. We will bring the picnic, West Town farm will provide a stunning view and all you need is some suitable footwear!

For more information on West Town Farm visit: 

 To book on to this event please login to the website or email

. Please note that there is a priority booking for ESSENCE members and social enterprises / co-operatives.

To join, call or email / 01392 411433. Please quote ESSENCE. This meeting is free of charge

 If you are interested in car-sharing, please let us know.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Cash for Carlton, Teignmouth – great news!

There’s nothing like opening an email to discover that a client has received long awaited news from a funder and it’s a ‘yes’.

Teignmouth will get a new arts and enterprise centre having secured £1.75million from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF). The community has fought hard and long and we’re delighted to have been involved in securing the money for them. Continue reading “Cash for Carlton, Teignmouth – great news!”

A new way of helping people, Project Petrock Cooperative CIC

Mat Tandy, Project Petrock, new Social enterprise and cooperative in Exeter
Mat Tandy with liveried van for Project Petrock

Instead of applying for grants to help homeless people find work, St Petrock’s have established ‘Project Petrock’, a social enterprise business that really helps homeless people back into work.

Continue reading “A new way of helping people, Project Petrock Cooperative CIC”