The only face-to-face conference for every rural community business

Thursday 6 July
IET Birmingham, Austin Court

We want you to join community businesses, industry experts, specialist business advisers and sector partners for a lively day of inspiring talks and workshops.

Facing the Future: Together boasts a packed programme of high profile speakers, interactive workshops and one-to-one advice surgeries covering the topics that we need to explore. You’ll get up-to-date on best practices and new approaches to help your community business increase volunteer engagement, improve your finances and maximise your social impact.

Most importantly, you’ll meet, share experiences with and learn from other community business leaders from across the UK.

With a full programme on offer, you could bring your fellow committee members, business manager, tenant or keen volunteers and make it a team away day.

The conference is friendly, welcoming and informative for everyone

The day of learning and networking will focus on how community businesses can face the future, together. Keynote sessions, expert panels and interactive workshops will address the priority areas in Plunkett’s five-year strategy, examining how community businesses can:

  • Provide a wider range of services that communities need and value
  • Stimulate the local economy through localised supply chains
  • Boost opportunities for employment, training and volunteering, particularly benefitting those who are most disadvantaged and excluded in today’s society
  • Offset climate change through environmentally-friendly practices
  • Harness digital technologies to enhance business performance
  • Promote diversity and inclusion by creating a safe and welcoming space for all

Claire Spendley, Head of Community Business at Plunkett, said: “I’m really excited to be able to bring community businesses together to learn from each other and share experiences, after such a prolonged period of change and challenge, for the first Plunkett conference since 2019. Whilst we understand that the communities we work with are still navigating a challenging operating environment, we know that community businesses up and down the UK are pulling together to make a genuine, positive impact for local people – and we want to share these stories and inspire those involved in community business to see the opportunities they have to make a difference”.

Are you involved in a community business? Then this event is for you!

Designed in collaboration with Plunkett Foundation members, the programme includes a mix of sessions to appeal to community businesses of all shapes and sizes; from new groups to well-established and trading, from all corners of the UK, and for all business types.

As well as appealing to committee members, the conference is a great opportunity to offer professional development to your staff or tenant, and encourage volunteers who may be considering a committee role. You could book as a group to make the most of the different topics and sessions (see our ticket offers!).

“Plunkett plays an important role in encouraging community businesses to run as thriving, sustainable businesses, to ensure they are competitive, and invest in their people. There is no substitute for coming face-to-face to discuss these issues” – Sam Ross, Plunkett Member and Secretary at Farmborough Community Shop

If you’re interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the conference, please contact

Programme and Event Information

Our sincere thanks to all our marketplace exhibitors

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!