In a joint activity with Proud and Future Morecambe, an initiative championed by Prof. Chris May, (Associate Dean: Enterprise – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) we ran an event in the Platform in Morecambe. This was notable for a few reasons, it was a completely open event, no registration or RSVP and we advertised free lunch as part of our intention to draw in people who do not normally go to meetings or workshops. The Platform in itself is an interesting venue, its an old train station with a mostly glass roof that could hold 300 at a push. It’s a great place to run a big workshop as long as you don’t need to project anything – its far too light for that.
The aim of this event was to explore how the people of Morecambe can improve the town without chasing (often transient) grant funding but rather try and tap into a groundswell of public and business feeling so that projects are to an extent robust and stable then look for funding to enhance rather than start new initiatives.
The Proud role in this was the creation of an ideas exchange mechanism that allowed up to 200 people to have a significant input in the idea generating process for improving the local area. We came up with proformers that were folded into airplanes and thrown around as a mechanism of exchange.
Overall the results of the day were very interesting, we now have 6 interest groups ranging from Local Pride to Finance and Credit with each having a group of interested people looking to get involved with each of these. We are helping these groups get started but the real test will be how many are still active and interested in September.
Its all an interesting process, quite different to the Proud processes we would normally adopt for engagement and co-design.