Community Land Trusts – a success story from Liverpool

‘We don’t want to sit back and accept things being done to us. We say stop, say no, and change the situation for the better.’

This quote, from a member of the Homebaked CLT steering group, is the key to the contribution that CLTs are making to their local communities.

Homebaked Community Land Trust was born in April 2012 with the aim of refurbishing the closed Mitchell’s bakery building to provide workspace for social enterprise and affordable housing in area near Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium. The building, like much of the local area, was in 2010 designated to be demolished under the Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI), a controversial urban regeneration scheme which envisaged large scale demolition of housing. In Anfield, the planned HMRI was to be the biggest loss of housing and commercial properties in the country, with 1,800 lost homes and spaces to work.

The initial project that Homebaked grew from, initiated by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk and supported by the Liverpool Biennial Art Festival asked how the local community could take matters into their own hands regarding the development of their neighbourhood and a common future.

From this Homebaked CLT started on a process of designing, planning and learning together with the local community; a project named ‘Build your own High Street.’ This project has grown from the model of the bakery, and proposes a larger scheme of community-led development and regeneration of the land adjacent to our building, providing workspace for social enterprise, long-term affordable housing, and communal outdoor space.

The Cafe and Bakery, which employs 18 people and spends approximately £130K per year with local suppliers, has become a hub for the different communities in the area, as well as visitors. The cafe is open 6 days a week, employing local people and paying a living wage. The bakery has a wholesale and catering business and trains local people.

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