News & Events
Martock Network Event Report - Excellent Projects, Proactive People
SMTF Members who missed this missed one of our best Network Events - Roger and Chris from Martock's M3 Community Partnership and Parish Council organised a very informative and interesting tour and presentations.
Below you can find a link to the presentation that includes the three projects we looked into.
We began in the stunning Market House by welcoming everyone, especially our guests from Dorset (Hugh from Dorset2 and Nigel from the Sherborne Partnership). I met Hugh through the regional Market Towns Network, and we are looking into some reciprocal visits focusing on tourism (there are some good examples of independant information centres in towns in N Dorset and they are interested in South Somerset's Tourism Audits).
The tour first viewed the Precinct, the 60's shopping centre, where the most recent phase of environmental enhancements are taking place.
This involves creating a new public space with seating and landscaping. A market takes place at the Precinct monthly which brings in around a £1000 a year for the M3 Partnership, as well as increased footfall obviously!
Then we moved onto the existing Youth Centre. This listed hamstone building was refurbished internally 18 months ago and is much improved, but is not an ideal space for the number and variety of users. We met Claire, Martock's fulltime Youth Worker (funded by the Parish Council) who explained the activities and services she coordinated; this included Youth nights 6 nights a week and several groups of young volunteers including the Youth Parish Council and 'The Army of Angels'. She has good links with the County Youth Service so has support for child protection issues etc and has a good relationship with the PCSO. Members were impressed by Claire's knowledge and enthusiasm for her work.
We then walked through the village (Martock has some stunning buildings that you don't notice from the car!) to the Recreation Ground to view the existing facilities but also to hear about the plans for the Multi-Use Community Facility, a £4m project that would bring together a Church and the Youth Club and provide a large hall suitable for theatrical productions, meeting rooms and a cafe for the whole community.
On our return to the Market House, we 'networked' over an excellent Tea, then Roger presented the details about the Market House renovation and the Multi-Use Community Facility - download these here - Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Finally, Roger asked for help - Martock have had several attempts over the past 4 years at setting up a Business Association or Chamber, but had found little support, even after producing a Business Directory. Members present mentioned a few examples of activity that may show to Businesses the value of coming together and speaking with one voice on local issues. These included promotions and niche marketing. If you have any successful examples of local Business groups or Chambers' activities, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our Google Group to discuss and share ideas.
Carol Goodall from the Ilminster Forum spoke about Town Benchmarking which they are undertaking. This gives a baseline of information which will, over time, become a useful tool in showing trends in the town and provide evidence to support grant applications. More information about Benchmarking can be found this website.
Liz Oram from Business Link Peninsula explained BLP's services available for local businesses, including surgeries with experienced advisors, drop-in events and training available - read more on their website.
Many thanks to the Martock team for hosting the event, and SSDC for funding it.
Our next Network Event is on Sept 16th, venue to be confirmed.
Created on May 15th 2009
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