ClayFutures consultation

Residents of Par voice their opinions on future development in the area.

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Commissioned by the local council, the 2009 ClayFutures project used our pioneering techniques in public engagement to involve local residents in the Eco-town development planned for Mid-Cornwall.

Recognising that ‘public consultation’ can be viewed with trepidation, the creative process was designed to attract the broadest possible audience from the local area. Hands on activities were organised in schools and local groups culminating in an event in each parish that took the form of a community fête.

The convivial atmosphere and fun activities enabled people to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the proposed Eco-town development. Creative installations, themed around subjects such as ‘homes’, ‘journeys’, ‘services’ and ‘sense of community’, encouraged them to consider the extent to which the plan could meet their aspirations.

Around 1,000 people attended the events, aged 3 to 98, including a good representation of hard-to-reach 15–24-year-olds. The project not only enabled them to feed their key priorities into the consultation process, but demonstrated how community-led initiatives can help parishes to realise their own ambitions.