Ledbury is proving to be a pioneer in keeping market towns as vibrant and active hubs of local communities after winning a regional Market Towns award.
The Ledbury and Area Development Trust’s ‘Succession Toolkit’ has won recognition as the most outstanding Regional Market Towns Project in the Partnership and Strategic Working Category of the Annual West Midlands Market Towns Awards – organised by Action for Market Towns.
The Succession Toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for local community regeneration partnerships involved in three-year Market Towns Initiative (MTI) programmes to plan how to continue after all their MTI funding has been allocated and used by local projects.
The Toolkit is the result of extensive research and consultation carried out by Professor Rick Ball, of the Centre for Economic and Social Regeneration at Staffordshire University on behalf of the Ledbury Partnership – the forerunner of the Ledbury and Area Development Trust.
Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Stuart Houghton, Chairman of Ledbury and Area Development Trust (LADT) commented, “we are, naturally, very pleased to receive this Award. The added significance for us is that – in partnership with Staffordshire University – we are already using the Succession Toolkit as the basis of our response to requests from other Market Towns to help them plan their futures. Equally importantly, the Toolkit provides a way for us to generate income to support our own ongoing activities in the Ledbury area.”
The Succession Toolkit covers succession development work at all levels including workshops, highlighting the different stages involved in succession planning and implementation, consultation and project development work, and the production and implementation of Succession Strategies.
Professor Rick Ball, of the Centre for Economic and Social Regeneration at Staffordshire University said, “the Succession Toolkit is presented in a user friendly way because it is primarily intended for use by those whose experience in the regeneration process may be limited. For those with greater experience, it sets out to offer good practical advice based on up-to-date experience.”
Cllr Charles Mayson, Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet Member, (Rural Regeneration and Smallholdings) and a strong advocate for the Council’s community-led, partnership approach to local regeneration, has wholeheartedly supported the work that went into producing the Succession. “The team at Ledbury – both in its original form as a community Partnership supported by Herefordshire Council, and now as the independent, entrepreneurial Development Trust – sets an excellent example of what can be achieved. The Succession Toolkit is an effective way to facilitate the exchange of best practice among other market towns.”
Chris Wade, Chief Executive of Action for Market Towns, said “the Regional Market Town Awards are organised by us annually with support from Advantage West Midlands – the Regional Development Agency. The Awards are part of a national competition and they help to promote, celebrate, and share the achievements of Market Towns Partnerships across the UK.”