On 20 April 2016 the Drygate Brewery in Glasgow hosted Say Hello to Place Matters – An Enterprise Mash Up. Described as an enterprise mash up, the event attracted a wide range of people who want to breathe life into their places.
We spoke to Iain Scott, Enterprise Guru and organiser of Can Do Places.
“Too often we look at architecture in isolation – we think of the buildings – but it is how we use our places and spaces that make us healthy, wealthy and happy. If we don’t have enterprising places they die.
We need to look at how our buildings have shifted from one use to another. Look at The Lighthouse in Glasgow for example – it was built to print newspapers and to make things. Now it’s a place where creativity and design meet.
We are about working with people to create opportunities and to make things in places that we already have. Without work – places will die. We are looking at opportunities to make places work in the places we love.”
Who should attend the event and why?
“We want community activists, businesses, planners, schools, police, fire – you name it! If you attend you will learn something new, meet someone new and start making your place enterprising. Great places can only survive when they are used in innovative ways.”
What will happen at the event?
“People from all walks of life will attend: it is not a sit-down event – it will be storytelling, chatting and connecting people. Some of the speakers include George Boyle – who founded Fumbally Exchange in Dublin – an architects who was made redundant at the peak of the Irish crash she created a space where people make work together. Ronald Megaughin, Depute Director, Scottish Business Resilience Centre – will bring his thoughts on creating safe places – and Rubina Tyler-Street of Curio Spirits looking at opportunities and challenges of creating a business – in her case a gin distillery – in a rural area. Karen Anderson from Architecture and Design Scotland will also speak at the event.”
What will people take away from the event?
“I hope that this event will spark a radical change in how people view their places. We need to bring innovation into how we see spaces – which includes redefining how people work. For example – an empty Woolworths in a High Street has the potential to bring 60 people working together. There is a massive demand for collaboration and working with others to make individual business a success.”
“Think about a space where a number of small businesses are based. The individual businesses may bring in £30,000/year, but together that is a £300,000 business in a community. We also know that money made in a local economy stays local and that every £1 made in a local economy is multiplied four times to benefit the community.”
What is needed to make this happen?
“We need a changed mind-set – currently the different professions tend think of place from their own perspective – economic development about investment, planning about the structures. To be successful we need to break down the walls between everyone involved and embed place in all our thinking. Our buildings are crying out for enterprising people so – let’s make it happen!”