Alston Moor the UK's 1st Social Enterprise Town
One year on from being awarded the status of the UK's first ever Social Enterprise Town by Social Enterprise UK, Alston Moor's vibrant social enterprise scene shows no sign of slowing down.
"So just what is it about this small rural community perched high up in the wilds of the North Pennines which makes it a leader in a sector which is growing in popularity nationally?"
To attempt to answer this question and to mark the one year anniversary of Alston Moor gaining this flagship status we will be running a weekly multimedia series, taking a detailed look at individual, enterprises which make Alston Moor a beacon of social enterprise activity in the UK.
This section is also packed with plenty of key background material including an interview with the architect of the Social Enterprise Places scheme Clive Hirst, a short film explaining what a social enterprise is, a timeline of Alston Moor’s social enterprise activity, you can find out which area of the Moor has the most social enterprises, hear answers from key people in the community, to the question ‘Why does Alston Moor have so many social enterprises?’ For those not familiar with the area there is a short film to give you an overview of Alston Moor and you can also hear from locals explaining what they like about living here. Finally we will be looking to the future and asking what is next for this innovative place.
So without further ado let's begin by getting to know a bit more about the UK's first ever Social Enterprise Town ...
Alston Moor Film ... putting the 'social' into social enterprise
When it comes to putting the ‘social’ into social enterprise this week’s business Alston Moor Film certainly does that with their regular film nights bringing people together for an enjoyable evening of quality films and company every month.
Getting out and about … with Alston Moor Community Transport
The community minibus run by Alston Moor Community Transport has transformed the lives of many during its 13 years of service by providing a means of breaking the social isolation often faced by the residents of Alston Moor ...
Clear roads ahead ... Nenthead Community Snowplough
This week we find out all about one of Alston Moor’s most unique social enterprises – Nenthead Community Snowplough, a community interest company, which has been successfully helping Nenthead residents keep moving in harsh winters since 2011.
The beating heart of a village … Nenthead Community Shop
The Award winning Nenthead Community Shop & Post Office has been going strong since 2007 when it was established by a determined group of villagers who refused to go without their vital village hub when the old village shop and Post Office closed down.
We have the technology … thanks to Cybermoor
This week we find out all about Cybermoor, Alston Moor's community owned co-operative who brought Alston Moor well and truly into the 21st century in 2002 by providing the community with access to the internet well ahead of other rural areas. This was thanks to an innovative government scheme – 'Wired up Communities.' Since then Cybermoor has gone from strength to strength continually making sure Alston Moor has access to the most recent technology.
Building a stronger community ... Alston Moor Partnership
Alston Moor Partnership is all about improving the quality of life on Alston Moor and recently has been making some really exciting developments marketing Alston Moor as a visitor attraction as well as introducing electric bikes and being awarded first round approval for a £1M Townscape Heritage Scheme, which hopes to transform Alston's town centre.
A Healthy Success ... Alston Wholefoods
Alston Wholefoods is one of Alston's best loved shops having provided the community and visitors with a great selection of wholefoods and other quality local produce at reasonable prices for over 15 years. What has made the shop such a success is the drive of the vibrant team who run it as a workers' co-operative to improve their community ...
Introducing the UK's 1st Social Enterprise Town
Alston Moor may be a small community with just around 2000 residents and 995 households, but there is nothing small about its social enterprise scene boasting an impressive 20 enterprises at the last count. This is equal to one enterprise per 50 households something which is as yet unmatched anywhere else in the UK and the sector continues to grow with confidence.
Social Enterprise Places 'Architect' Clive Hirst
When Social Enterprise UK decided to give special recognition to areas buzzing with social enterprise activity with the launch of the ground breaking Social Enterprise Places initiative in 2013, it was Alston Moor which had the honour of becoming the UK’s first ever Social Enterprise Town. Since then four more places have been awarded this status with many more cities, towns and villages queuing up to gain this desired accolade.