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Hi all, we have received some useful feedback from our first draft plan and are planning on meeting with our adviser in the next week or so to work out how to encompass it. One concern I have ahead of that is that we have been asked to demonstrate winder community impact in our plan. the plan itself is very focussed around retail developments for our district centre – there are obvious touchpoints here on local spending/keeping money local/jobs etc but I am wary of just shoving in a paragraph or two of generic/well known thinking on these themes just “for the sake of it” – any thoughts?
Great question, and you’re not alone with that particular issue. I know that you’ll be chatting this through with your adviser and you have some remaining technical support time with NEF who will be able to help you with this. My advice would be that there is a balance that can be struck between ensuring that your work is embedded in a wider understanding of your area (across the triple bottom line) and not being tokenistic about describing this.
It might be helpful to have a session where you just take a step back from the more detailed work you have completed and ask some questions about why this is important (why retail?) and what the wider benefits might be arising from the work you take forward. None of the work taken forward as part of the programme should be looked at in isolation and retail is actually a really good example of an issue with lots of connections to social and environmental outcomes, as well as the more obvious economic ones.
Sorry this is a bit vague – difficult to go into detail at this point – but I know that your adviser and technical support will be able to help you with this issue!