Researchers from the School of Art, Design and Architecture have set up up a digital engagement space in Stonehouse. The Greenhouse, which acts as a creative technology hub for local organisations and residents, provides technological and digital support through a neighbourhood-based drop in centre. Based in the Plot, a community space in Stonehouse, the Greenhouse is a place where people can experience and play with technology in a way that supports them to learn how it could benefit them. This includes students working in the community, running workshops, events and one-to-one support for local people and aims to encourage local and sustainable thinking, providing a stimulus for local entrepreneurship.
This project supports the Civic University approach, and aims to raise the profile of the University in the local community so that it feels more accessible for local people and provides support to increase local skills.
Wider project outcomes: sustainable urban renewal
The Stonehouse Union bid is led by Nudge Community Builders and Street Factory. It brings together a range of community organisations working towards urban renewal through meeting the needs of individuals. The project will provide a pipeline of entrepreneurs to occupy underused commercial space and revitalise Plymouth's Union Street and Stonehouse neighbourhood. It will invest in people, giving them support to prepare for work and achieve their potential in the community, and provide affordable space for them to start up and scale up microbusinesses.
Nudge Community Builders will work to develop a comprehensive urban renewal plan for Union Street. This will include community engagement, workshops and walking tours with local businesses and key stakeholders to ensure the plan meets their needs. The project will ‘join the dots’, utilising the partner’s extensive trusting relationships in the community to ensure that local people feel confident to access these opportunities. This will ensure that the main beneficiaries of neighbourhood renewal remain the local community, especially those most in need. In the longer term, social enterprises and small businesses will benefit from the spaces that we can bring back into use and the skilled and creative individuals in our community.
Plymouth City Council is the lead authority for both bids and the funding includes management and administration costs.
A civic university
Aligning our research with local community needs is deeply rooted in our role as
a civic university and we strive to be catalysts for social change and to drive forward economic innovation to positively impact health within our communities.
The project is a partnership between the Nudge Community Builders, Street Factory CIC, The Albion Workshop CIC and Diversity Business Incubator CIC and overseen by Plymouth City Council. The project is funded through the DLUHC Community Renewal Fund, which aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches, and invests in skills, communities and businesses, as well as supporting people into employment.
"Universities are so much more than degree-awarding seats of learning. They are drivers for economic innovation and advancement, catalysts for social change and champions of cultural development." – Professor Judith Petts, CBE
The University of Plymouth is a partner in a £527,528 project that brings together community organisations working in a deprived area in Plymouth as part of a neighbourhood urban renewal plan.
The Stonehouse Union project is led by Nudge Community Builders and Street Factory CIC and provides unique life-skills, support and training for the unemployed, work-skills training, start-up mentoring and support, and business support and workspace.
The project is funded through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and is one of only two projects in Plymouth supported by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).
Professor Katharine Willis
Associate Head of School - Research
Dr Diego Zamora
Lecturer in 3D Design - Design Maker