A Lancashire village self-regenerating—via community centre, library, shop, pub—is good to see. But not every place has enough capital, human or financial, to succeed

The Alternative

We’re always on the hunt for stories of community self-determination – people stepping over the line of bureaucracy (and passivity) to seize the development of their towns and locales. (One of our most popular blogs in 2021 were the activists in Maryhill, Glasgow seeking to develop an unused plot of land for community purposes – and grappling with the council as they did so.)

First the BBC and, this January, the Telegraph ( file) reported the same story of another seeming miracle of community power – the Trawden initiative.

The BBC report hangs on the Lancashire ex-milltown community’s success in raising £450K from 350 shares, bought by locals, to prevent the town’s last remaining pub from closure, under a community ownership scheme. But the Jan 8th Telegraph article fleshes out a much broader and more inspiring story—a self-reliant rural community succeeding in waves of self-development, building the expertise and confidence to reverse local decline.

“An ageing population, local-authority neglect and regional underfunding: Trawden’s decline followed a pattern repeated in rural communities across the country and around the world”, as the Telegraph puts it. But battles to secure a collapsing community centre, then a library and health centre, and finally the Trawden Arms pub itself, have transformed the lives of Trawdeners.


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