Talk of the Town

September 2, 2019

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by Pippa Coutts, Policy and Development Manager, Carnegie UK Trust

Over the last few years, towns have frequently been called ‘left-behind’, both by the press and government. This refers to towns missing out on the benefits of economic growth, as the UK has pursued a policy of agglomeration economics, and cities, seen as the engines of growth, have been given the limelight. Although it is hard to think of another term that captures the feeling of resentment, or decline that some towns face, the term ‘left behind’ sounds negative.

Like many other institutions and individuals, we believe that the towns and the communities that live in them have unique strengths and great potential.

In the past, we have conducted international research to show how towns that faced severe challenges, whether economic, environmental or social, have overcome these and flourished. We are producing a similar set of case studies for the UK – focussing on community-inspired action to turn around towns.

As part of our work to showcase towns, we want to hear from people who are passionate about the place where they live. Telling a story is a powerful way of putting across a message. We plan to support individuals from towns to tell the story of the town they care about. We are looking for people who have something to say about where they live, and the community’s visions or plans for it. We will provide professional support to tell your story about your town. And then we will work with you to air your story to people who make decisions about your town, and can influence its wellbeing. So if you have a story you’d like to tell about your town please apply to Talk of the Town. We look forward to working with you to amplify the strengths of towns and their contribution to the UK’s wellbeing, so that talk of the town becomes talk for the town.