City council’s long-term commitment to building stronger communities


Gloucester City Council’s cabinet will consider plans on Wednesday (5 December) to formally join forces with Barnwood Trust and other partners to start a new community building partnership.


Cabinet will also consider a longer term commitment to the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, with aims to set up a Community Interest Company. This new organisation would provide the project with a neutral platform for community building activities, working to a consistent approach and methodology and removed from any single organisations’ objectives. It would also create extra opportunities to bid for pots of community funding.

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is about growing sustainable communities, building connections between people that live in the area and empowering people to take action on things that are important to them. The city council adopted this strengths based approach in 2012 when it trialled it in Podsmead and Matson and later introduced it into the 2014 Council Plan.

Over the last six years numerous groups and projects have been set up by bringing people with similar interests together. 

Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for communities at Gloucester City Council, said, “Our staff, partners and communities have been working with Barnwood Trust since the outset to help grow community led action where everyone can be involved and that will make Gloucester a great place where everyone can have a good life.

“So far they have seen how this approach can help individuals and communities to feel safer, more connected, active, inclusive and inspired.

“We need to take this amazing methodology and expand it to the whole city so everyone can benefit. I would like to thank all of the organisations and communities who have been part of our community building journey so far for their support.”

Link to Overview and Scrutiny papers -

Asset based community development has been an approach used by Gloucester City Council since 2012 when initially trialled in Podsmead and Matson and later introduced into the 2014 Council Plan.

In 2012, our relationship with Barnwood Trust started who have, over time, become unrivalled partners and supporting the development of our community building practice and evaluating our work.

Other partners who have been part of our community building journey are the OPCC, Gloucestershire Constabulary, GL Communities, Roots Community Café; Podsmead Big Local, Housing Associations, the CCG, and the Public Health and Adult Social Care teams at Gloucestershire County Council.