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A stronger future for Watchet: Onion Collective CIC

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Jessica Prendergrast

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of A stronger future for Watchet: Onion Collective CIC

Community and Stakeholder outcomes:
Create more for visitors to do (Tourism)
Meet the needs of the community, and young people (Community)
Generate jobs and support enterprise (Enterprise)
Deliver improved public space (Public space)
Enhance the arts/cultural offer (Culture)
Enhance the Marina/maritime offer (Maritime)
Exhibit high-quality/sensitive design (Architecture)
Improve the cycling/walking infrastructure (Pathways)
Celebrate the coast, heritage, geology of the town (Heritage)
Retain and build on the unique vibe of the town (Vibe)
Effectively market/brand the town's offer (Brand)
Improve parking/traffic management (Parking)
Enhance civic space/facilities (Civic)
Public space
Who are we and what are we up to?
Shared priorities/outcomes
Onion Collective outcomes:
Create a visitor destination in its own right (Destination)
Generate jobs and support entrepreneurship (Enterprise)
Respond to the community's expressed objectives (Community)
Have a game changing impact (Impact)
Be identifiably born of Watchet, its coast and geology (Identity)
Be distinct, playful, authentic and offbeat in its character (Character)

Modus operandi:
Be financially viable, sustainable and resilient (Viability)
Operate with social integrity at its fore (Integrity)
Be governed appropriately and effectively (Governance)
Outline proposals
East Quay and Boat Museum
Stakeholder Engagement
Existing consultations and background documents
Watchet 2025
WSC and SCC strategies
Fisher Report
Stakeholder reports
etc etc.....
In-depth stakeholder consultation sessions
Watchet Town Council
Harbour Advisory Committee
Conservation Society
Marina Operator & WBOA
West Somerset Council & Cllrs
Watchet and WS Businesses
Tourism industries
Cultural & creative industries
Community organisations
Youth Club and Committee
Public engagement and drop-in office
Mayfly Studio - 41b Swain St
Pop-up stands at the school, the paper mill and other places in and around.
Community and visitor surveys
Social Media and Digital

Multi-use community hall
Foot/coastal paths
Contains Art
Performance space
Make most of Railway
Community cohesion
Brave/iconic architecture

East Quay:
Workspace and Culture development
A lively workspace development of small, modular, flexible workshops, hackspace, studios, providing visitors the chance to see and visit makers at work, anchored by a bijou but high-quality gallery and a harbourside restaurant/cafe, within a performance-orientated public space setting.
Complementing the more industrial maritime workspace orientation and dry dock of the Marina Operator's development proposal.
Boat Museum/the Cross: Tourism and Civic
A modernised but authentic Boat Museum, that clearly signals the maritime heritage of the town as people arrive whether by road or rail, and that draws people into Swain Street at the Cross end. With the potential for co-location of civic and tourist information space.
Memorial Ground:
Community and Youth
A purpose built community space, including multi-use community hall, youth club facilities, and a community cafe, making the most of its idyllic setting and meeting the expressed needs of the community.
Pathway development
A unique coastal walk and pathways development that draws visitors and improves accessibility, celebrating the coast, geology and heritage of Watchet through sensitive but bold landscape design.
A stronger future for Watchet: feasibility work
The story so far and outline proposals

Time-check of the Watchet 2025
Online and on paper
Postcards around town
Word cloud: Which three words best describe Watchet?
Marina facilities
Dedicated/more dockside facilities
Boatowner parking
Start-up/incubation spaces
Small workshop units
Business support/hub
Training allotments
Co-working space
Expanded Contains Art
10 + artist studios/workshops
Exhibition/gallery space
Permanent Echoes Somerset (?)
Performance space (outdoor)
Destination restaurant
Live/work units
Self-catering units
Public space
Youth club
Kids cafe
Soft play
Iconic building
Infinity pool!!
Boat Museum enhancement
Glass window/atrium
Tourist information?
Visitor centre (geology/coast)
Public space
Town Council offices?
Cross area enhancement
Leading people into Swain Street
Public space enhancement
Sign-posting and information
Encourage flow round 'Golden Triangle'
Unifying features/spruce up
Iconic building
Make most of Railway
Splash point and beach accessibility
Improve footpaths
Improve Coastal path
Walking links/routes (themed)
Public space
East Quay
The Cross
Boat Museum
Youth club building
Key assets
We are four friends who founded a social enterprise (a business that works for social good rather than private profit) called Onion Collective Community Interest Company because we wanted to put our professional skills and experience to good use and to see if we could, collectively, help to build a stronger future for our town. There is more information about us on our website: www.onioncollective.co.uk
We had all been frustrated over the years by the lack of progress on the East Quay and the wasted opportunity this seemed to present to make a difference to the town and wider West Somerset area. So we decided to see if we could find a way to get things moving. We bid for and were successful in being awarded a grant from the Social Investment Business (an intermediary that channels government funds) to see if there was a way to develop Watchet's assets, but grounded in what the community wants above all else.
We decided to widen the scope of our work so that we could consider ideas and solutions for some of the other key assets in Watchet, not just the East Quay.
The funding will enable us to do all the things that usually only Councils or major developers can afford to do, like pay for architects, quantity surveyors, lawyers etc. and to dedicate some proper time to getting it right, and, importantly, to work closely with all the other organisations in the town that have a stake.
The first thing we have done is ask you what you think Watchet needs.
We have used lots of different ways to talk to you!
We have run lots of consultation sessions to understand what you want.
You have told us all your brilliant ideas and 'voted' on what matters most.
This word cloud shows which things were most important to most people overall.
We have also put out surveys for local people and tourists and looked back at loads of historic documents and consultation results.
We love this!
It's another word cloud that shows how you view Watchet!
And you can still find us of course - we have an office in town and will be out and about gathering your views and ideas and picking your brains for our business plan over the next few months.
From everything you have told us we have distilled these priorities for what Watchet needs and wants: they will become our guiding outcomes as we move forward to tangible plans.
These things were the most popular individual ideas.
These are the outcomes we as Onion Collective had come up with before we started the consultation - luckily they match up really well!
This is what you told us you want!
We have taken everything you have told us about what you want and where it should go and come up with four proposals that we think will build a stronger future for Watchet, and make the difference you hope for.
This gives a sense of the kind of development you want us to work towards.
These are all the things we will explore in more detail through business planning to see if it can be made to really stack up.
Iconic building
Viewing platform
Multi-use community hall
Performance space
Sports facility/gym
Events space
Community cafe
Community bakery
Young people
This is what we have now.
But we could enhance our coastal assets like this!
Full transcript