Following on from the three Community Event days we held in the Bearpit in April, we are now able to report on the results of the consultation and various activities that took place.
- There was a unanimous feeling that the changes so far have improved the area.
- People like the general feel of the space. With more people there, it feels more welcoming and less intimidating – “It’s so inviting.” “A place to sit and people-watch.”
- There was support for the continued greening of the site which people thought would make a big difference.
- A large number of people felt that an indoor space was “not a priority”, “wouldn’t feel part of the Bearpit”.
- With a food market, a few other activities, and sunshine, as we experienced on the Wednesday of the consultation, some people thought no more was needed.
- 91% of those surveyed would come to the Bearpit if there was an activity that attracted them.
- There was support for creative activities including music and film.
- The view was that activities should be aimed at all people, not just specific groups – there should be “something for everyone”.
- The greening programme has started and will continue over the summer and into 2017.
- We have deferred our plans for an indoor ‘Community Hub’.
- We want to get more activities in the Bearpit space. There is a virtuous circle to aim for – more activity creates a more welcoming space, which creates more activity. That takes effort to organise so we’re seeking funding to recruit someone to manage a programme of activities, events and markets in the Bearpit. That will take time and we don’t know yet whether we will be successful.
Whilst we are exploring longer-term solutions, we want to tap into the various expressions of interest we received from the April consultation. We don’t have the capacity to co-ordinate or provide a lot of support for volunteers, so we are looking for a few offers of help which are self-funded and self-directed. We are looking for people with capacity to self-manage particular activities, events or markets in the Bearpit, which together can help build up a programme of activities. If you have such an offer of help, please get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com.