Community Futures is an approach to local community planning and sustainable community development that aims to encourage active citizenship and build local democracy.  CRT recognises that some communities have found it difficult to secure a fair share of the funding that has been channelled through it and other grant makers during the last 15 years.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and other funders have found that in these ‘cold spots’ community leadership, participation, structures, networks and group activity is relatively weak.  In these areas we have worked in partnership to:

  • Build on existing processes of community action research to identify local needs and priorities, using residents as co-researchers;
  • Work with local residents and groups to develop a common sense of purpose and a deliverable community action plan;
  • Make use of a small fund for each area, which through a participatory budgeting process was allocated by residents to initiate small-scale improvements;
  • Provide tailored capacity building support, working with local residents and groups to establish skills/structures and secure external funding for agreed projects;
  • Where possible support the development of new community ‘anchor’ organisations to provide a focus or hub for continued community regeneration;
  • Help organisations to ‘make the right connections’ by facilitating them to develop relationships with other successful organisations to encourage learning, pooling of resources and on-going mentoring and support.