The employment units and the role of the CCT
The Bellacouch Meadow application includes a block of small employment units with a public toilet block at ground floor level.
It was broadly agreed by the Steering Group and Parish Council that the ideal outcome would be for the employment units to be held by a Community Trust, for the benefit of the wider community.
Below we have provided some thoughts on how we might proceed. It is certainly an approach that has worked well in a number of other parts of the country.
The CCT’s “business/philosophical premise” underpins its approach. The employment units should:
- Be ring-fenced for the benefit of Chagford.
- Deliver an opportunity for new businesses to get established in the town.
- Provide premises for young, local entrepreneurs to get a foothold in business.
- Encourage businesses that will provide employment and not just a lifestyle for the owner.
- Encourage businesses that benefit the town itself, rather than those that simply need a base for a wider operation.
- Change hands on a regular basis, so as to continually offer the aforementioned.
- Provide a source of income to CLT, that can be spent on other community projects or other community initiatives.
- Be “profitable” and produce an annual surplus over expenditure and maintenance.
The CCT has considered which models will deliver the above philosophy and these will include a combination of the following:
- 1 unit will be offered on the business “incubator” model as favoured by the Transition Town Movement (see below) or with a subsidised rent and no incubator assistance.
- 3 further units will be available at a market rent, with no incubator assistance.
All four units are limited to Class B1 use.
The business “incubator” model
A business incubator is a facility that helps new and start-up businesses to develop, by providing services such as management training, mentoring and work space. Services like:
- Space to operate from,
- Help with business basics,
- Networking activities,
- Marketing assistance,
- High-speed Internet access,
- Help with accounting/financial management.
For more information on these units, please contact our managing agent at https://www.fowlersproperties.co.uk. Updates on progress will be put on this website, and you can also join the CCT to be kept informed.