By Grace Dobbie
Nudge Community Builders describe themselves as a ‘community benefit society’, set up and run by local people, for local people. Last year, they were chosen as one of the 2018 New Radicals by Nesta and The Observer News Review. So, what do they do?
The society enable and run activities in ‘unused, underused or unusual’ urban spaces, creating deep rooted, positive change in run-down areas. Their achievements are bold and ambitious, and future aims even more so. Improving local areas, with the knowledge and experience of the community, is top of their agenda, while also giving a leg up to new businesses, clubs and groups.
Perhaps what makes Nudge’s work so important, is the dire need for improvement in their target areas. Union Street is notorious for its fall from grace – from the ‘heyday’ of 1980s nightlife, to the anti-social behaviour of today. Local authorities have failed to address damaging degeneration, so it is left to miraculous, community champions to save the day.
Nudge already runs six impressive projects: Union Corner Community Centre, The Advent Box Project, The Count Me in Data Tapestry, Manor Street Market, Out on the Street and The Clipper.
The sixth, you may have even visited – The Clipper is ‘a community market and pop-up cafe’ on Union Street. A former pub, The Clipper was a 24 hour drinking destination up until 2017, adding to the ill-famed, undesirable atmosphere of the street. By the end of 2017 the building had been bought by Nudge, and has since begun to be used and visited by thousands of local people. The space is open as a cafe from Thursday to Saturday 12-6pm, open for private bookings and, furthermore, Nudge wants to utilise it for opportunities for local businesses.
Nudge’s small, grassroots success demonstrate the power of our community. Instead of avoiding Union Street, or moaning about its unappealing aura, join the change. Help nudge Plymouth in the right direction.
You can find out more about Nudge Community Builders here: https://nudge.community/