IGN Insights

Nudge Community Builders

Centre for Progressive Policy Danielle Jackson square 2023 07 13 133207 stdj

Danielle Jackson

Head of Inclusive Growth Network

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Nudge Community Builders has revitalised a street in Plymouth, sparking regeneration and economic activity, whilst continuing to serve the local community.

They have catalysed inclusive growth by:

  • Bringing vacant buildings back into use and revitalising a local high street
  • Implementing an inclusive and sustainable community-based funding model
  • Creating new skills, job and business opportunities in the arts and creative industries

Creating a thriving local high street

Regeneration projects had supported economic growth and wealth generation in other areas of Plymouth, but Union Street felt forgotten. It had several vacant buildings, became a target of anti-social behaviour, felt unsafe to school children, and many local small businesses were struggling.

Nudge Community Builders was set up in 2017 by local people living in Stonehouse, Plymouth. They moved into Union Street with a vision to transform the empty buildings into thriving creative spaces and have unlocked 25% of empty buildings on the road. Nudge Community Builders now have five properties on Union Street: Union Corner, The Clipper, The Plot, Millennium and C103.

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Building inclusive spaces

'We're interested in how we hold spaces that are inclusive, but also break down some of those barriers around people feeling like they can't join in. We wanted to build it up in a way where local people feel the most comfortable. It's something that we learnt really early on – how quickly someone can get locked out if it doesn't feel like it's for them or see people like them.’

Hannah Sloggett, Co-Director, Nudge Community Builders

Enabling collective investment

Local people were invited to become shareholders in the community with 595 people investing in community shares, enabling people to come together and make something happen that they care about. For many, this was the first time they had bought shares in an organisation. Investments range from £50 to £100,000 with each person having one vote each. To increase participation amongst those on lower incomes, people were able to pay £5 a month to save up for their £50 share. Engagement and co-development with local people has transformed Union Street with existing residents at its heart.

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Developing local arts and creativity

Nudge supports local artists, business owners and creators to have access to affordable working space where they can develop their practice and ideas. One young woman went from taking part in zine-making workshops at Nudge as a teenager to having her own studio space to create new work to sell and show, and is now on their board. A local food business provides migrant women with training in how to set up their own food enterprises. This approach helps grow the local economy, supports local people to achieve their goals, and prevents an exclusionary form of gentrification.


Nudge Community Builders have built a strong local economy and community around the regeneration of Union Street, enabling local people to be an active and engaged part of this transformation.