High quality affordable housing plays a key role in regenerating communities, but it is not sufficient by itself. Also required is a strong community identity and an independent, representative voice to shape appropriate development and attract inward investment.
By being the catalyst for Hythe Forward, the first community land trust (CLT) in Essex, Colne set about demonstrating that a social housing provider can make a broad positive impact and a lasting contribution.
A CLT is a legally constituted, not for profit organisation designed to ensure that local residents, businesses and community groups have greater control over regeneration priorities. Recognising the unrealised potential in The Hythe, Colne pitched a proposal to Colchester Council to secure the funding needed to kick start the project.
We started by bringing together those already passionate about their community and establishing a shared vision. Along the way we received further funding and support from local businesses and regeneration bodies leading to Hythe Forward being officially set up and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in December 2013.
Hythe Forward’s mission is to - ‘Make the Hythe a more safe, attractive and prosperous place to live work and do business.’ It has three key objectives:
- Ensure provision of quality, affordable family housing
- Stimulate commerce and enterprise
- Manage and develop quality public realm (accessible outdoor space)