Arrive, register and meet exhibitors from 09:30
10.15 – Opening Panel: Facing the Future: Together
The opening session will set the scene for the day – acknowledging the prolonged period of challenge community businesses have weathered, through the pandemic, cost of living and energy crisis, and reflect on the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and rural communities across the UK.
10.45 – Break
11:00 – Panel 2: Creating Inclusive Community Business: A Rural Perspective
During this session, panellists will consider how community businesses can create innovative, inclusive and impactful spaces for local people – exploring what community businesses are currently doing to promote diversity and inclusion, by creating safe and welcoming spaces for all, and what more they can do to benefit those who are most disadvantaged and excluded in today’s society. We’ll also reflect on the challenges of operating in rural areas that impact on diversity, such as the ongoing migration of young people out of the countryside and the lack of affordable rural housing.
11.45 – Social Impact Stories: An interview with…Jodie Barwick-Bell, Chair, The Bank @ Chopwell
During this interview, we’ll hear how Chopwell Regeneration Group successfully transformed a former bank into a thriving community hub; and the wide range of activities and services now offered, that are really making a difference in their local community.
12:00 – Panel 3: The Road to Net Zero: Community Businesses as Climate Champions
This panel session will explore how community businesses can make a positive impact in the midst of a climate emergency, both by improving their own operations and by encouraging their communities to take climate action.
12:45 – Lunch: network and meet the marketplace exhibitors
13.30 – Social Impact Stories: An interview with… Lenny Watson, Sister Midnight
During this interview, we’ll hear about Sister Midnight’s campaign to create the first community-owned music venue in Lewisham, including the ups and downs of a two-year journey to secure premises, raise funds and make their vision a reality.
13:45 – Plenary: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities: Retail and Hospitality
This plenary session will feature two keynote speakers, who will provide a state of the nation update and share the current trends, challenges and opportunities for community businesses operating in the retail and hospitality sectors. Following the presentations, delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions of speakers.
14:30 – Break
14:45 – Panel 4: Ask the Funder: How to Successfully Attract Grant Funding
During this session, panellists will explore the common pitfalls that community organisations should try to avoid when applying for funding, as well as sharing top tips to give community businesses the best chance of success
15.30 – Social Impact Stories: An interview with…Neil Truphet, Amberley Shop on the Common
During this interview, we’ll hear the story of Amberley Shop on the Common – a brand new community-owned shop and cafe co-located in Trinity Church.
15:45 to 16.15 – Closing keynote: Adam Henson
We have created two workshop streams with eight interactive sessions that will get to the heart of the issues that community businesses say they’re most concerned about: People and Finances.
The 45-minute workshops are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day and you can pick and choose the sessions you want to attend from either stream. If you’re attending as a group, you might like to split up to cover the different themes.
Alongside the main programme, community businesses can also take part in one-to-one adviser surgeries, to address issues you might be facing such as governance and volunteers, finance and fundraising, or the early stages of setting up.
This page will be updated as speakers are confirmed:
Opening panel: Facing the Future: Together
- James Alcock, Chief Executive, Plunkett Foundation (Panel chair)
- Dame Caroline Mason, Chief Executive, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
- Rose Marley, Chief Executive, Cooperatives UK
- Mark Purvis, Deputy Director, England, National Lottery Community Fund
- Tim Davies-Pugh, Chief Executive, Power to Change
Panel 2: Creating Inclusive Community Business: A Rural Perspective
- Claire Spendley, Head of Community Business, Plunkett Foundation (Panel chair)
- Woosh Raza, Director of People, Culture and Inclusion, NCVO
- Imandeep Kaur, Co-founder and Director, CIVIC SQUARE
- Richard Allen, Director of The Swan Clewer CIC and CEO of the Green Room Foundation
- Tilly Goodwin, The Auctioneers Arms, Caverswall
Panel 3: The Road to Net Zero: Community Businesses as Climate Champions
Plenary: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities: Retail and Hospitality
- Harriet English, Head of Engagement, Plunkett Foundation (Session chair)
- James Lowman, Chief Executive, Association of Convenience Stores
- Emma McClarkin OBE, Chief Executive, British Beer and Pub Association
Panel 4: Ask the Funder: How to Successfully Attract Grant Funding
- Lewis Bowman, Head of Finance, Plunkett Foundation (Panel chair)
- Mark Purvis, Deputy Director, England, National Lottery Community Fund
- Kelcey Wilson-Lee, Director of Programmes, Architectural Heritage Fund
- Maddy Taylor, Head of Operations, The Princes Countryside Fund
- Helen Bridge, Social Action Programmes Senior Manager, Aviva Community Fund
- John Dawson, Head of Market Development and Investment, Community Shares Unit (Booster Fund)
Closing Keynote: Adam Henson, Farmer, Countryfile Presenter and Author
The marketplace is a bustling gathering of Plunkett-recommended suppliers. They offer products and services that can help you save time and money, so that you can run your community business more efficiently and effectively. We work hard to build meaningful relationships with all of our suppliers, who in turn support Plunkett and the sector as supporter members. Each supplier has committed to deliver consistent value for money, excellent customer service, respect confidentiality, adhere to GDPR, and endeavour to meet ethical standards.
IET Birmingham: Austin Court
80 Cambridge Street
Located in Birmingham city centre, close to main transport links, the venue has been chosen for its accessibility and sustainability credentials.
Accessibility is well-considered at Austin Court with lifts, ramps, hearing and visual assistance, and limited disabled parking, as well as provision for different cultural and dietary needs – please tell us your requirements when you register.
We are committed to making the conference inclusive for everyone. There are free tickets for carers and discounted tickets for young community business members aged 25 and under. Contact us on email@example.com if you need help to make your booking, or if there are any barriers to you attending, including ticket or travel costs.
Savings for Plunkett Members
- General Admission – £120
- Community Business Member Pass – £95 (20% off!)
- Community Business Member Additional Pass: £50 (less than half the standard price)
- Young Community Business Member (U25) Pass: £25
- Plunkett Supporter Members – £95
- Individual Supporter Annual Membership: £20
There are lots of options available within the immediate area to suit a wide range of budgets, here are some suggestions: