Social trust names winners of its 2024 People & Place grants

The architect-led charity, set up by Clare Richards to ‘empower local people to create resilient communities’, first introduced the scheme last year.

Footwork’s 2024 cohort, announced on Thursday (16 November), includes two trained architectural designers and a number of architecture-led projects.

The winners will each receive an ‘unrestricted’ grant of £5,000, and a place on the People & Place mentorship programme.

Their projects include a high street takeover in Sheffield, the rebuild of a historic music venue in south London, and a scheme to prioritise local needs in planning legislation.

Footwork says the main purpose of the scheme is ‘to give innovators the time to step back from the work, to think and the freedom to take part in [the programme]’.

People & Place offers winning groups a combination of mentorship, peer-to-peer support, and ‘shared learning’ with the aim of demonstrating their project’s impact, and helping them to overcome challenges and find useful collaborators.

The 2024 cohort will benefit from People & Place’s ‘most ambitious fund to date’, with £100,000 channelled into ‘community-led innovation’.

The winners were picked out of 105 applications, submitted from the fund’s opening date on 20 July.

People & Place 2024 Cohort 

  • Alternative Housing (York) Laurie Smith and James Neward (a trained architectural designer), of YorSpace.
    Tackling York’s housing shortage, by using the community to ‘disrupt and revolutionise a housing market that no longer serves many in the city’.
  • Reimagining Hillsborough (Sheffield) Linda Bloomfield and Emily Thew, of RivelinCo arts centre.
    ‘Taking over’ the high street for the community, co-designing ‘intergenerational, inclusive and diverse community infrastructure in a working class area’.
  • Ground-up Regeneration (Coalville) Deanna Bamford, of Coalville CAN.
    Community-led regeneration; ‘bringing to life disused buildings’ in Coalville, by finding ways for residents to take control of assets and become their own landlords.
  • Chapel Re-purposing (Bath) Pete Keevill, Gareth James and Tricia Mills of Bath Methodist Church.
    ‘Re-thinking how a chapel [Bath Methodist Church] can house key workers in Bath’, and preserve its connections to the community.
  • Engagement Ripple-effect (Exeter) JoJo Spinks, of Interwoven Productions.
    Using a place-based approach and residents’ skills to connect people and ‘revive a sense of community’, one Exeter street at a time.
  • Creating a Community-led Design Code (South Woodford, East London) Jo Ashbridge, trained architectural designer and founder of architecture charity AzuKo.
    Co-creating a community-led design code to get local needs met in planning decisions, and ‘transform South Woodford into a green and active neighbourhood’.
  • Solar Street Retrofit (Walthamstow, east London) Hilary Powell, Dan Edelstyn and Leonie Rousham, of Power Station.
    ‘Turning the city into a green energy power station, street-by-street.’
  • Public Health Parks Trust (Downham, south-east London) Tim Oshodi, of Downham & Seven Fields Health Parks Trust Network.
    Rethinking green spaces to combat health challenges and help tackle intergenerational poverty.
  • Space to Create (Brent, north-west London) Turab Shah and Arwa Aburawa, of Other Cinemas.
    Creating a community-led cinema in Brent, and a space which ‘feels like a second home’ to Brent residents.
  • Community-owned Creative Catalyst (Catford, south-east London) Lenny Watson, of Sister Midnight Community Venues.
    Remaking a historic community-owned music venue to be ‘owned and democratically controlled by local people’.

Footwork co-created this year’s fund with its 2023 Insights Group – a panel of experts chosen for their experience in placemaking, local social innovation, and community funding.

The Insights Group included Hani Salih of the Quality of Life Foundation, Raja Moussaoui Head of Community Engagement at the GLA, and Stephanie Edwards of Urban Symbiotics.

Earlier this year, the AJ spoke to the Footwork founders to learn more about the organisation, its aims and how it is trying to plug a grassroots funding gap.