About the Common Treasury


What if enthusiastic change-makers from other parts of the country shared their inspiring stories with people keen to learn and adapt their ideas to a local context? How could people and ideas from elsewhere inspire, energise and co-create positive change locally?

With the generous support of the Big Lottery’s Power to Change programme, the Common Treasury of Adaptable Ideas will be exploring these questions in Hastings – and we’d like to enlist your help.

The initiative will pilot a series of new spaces (both public and digital), where peers can share, adapt, design, and initiate ideas that generate new solutions to the challenges faced by small towns striving to become happier, healthier and more sustainable into the 2020s.



Hastings (population 90,000) is an eccentric, energetic and community-spirited coastal community, but like many similarly-sized towns, suffers because many of its decision-makers are not aware of the great examples of positive social change taking place around the UK.

In the summer of 2018 four Hastings community leaders shared their enthusiasm for the many great initiatives they saw in other parts of the country – as well as their frustration about how little was known and acted on locally.

Inspiring and supporting local action through the sharing of ‘Great Ideas from Elsewhere’ became the challenge and motivation for The Common Treasury of Adaptable Ideas.


How the Common Treasury work

The Common Treasury (CT) hosted two showcase events – Thursday, 25 April and Thursday 24 October with 5-6 inspiring ideas from elsewhere, together with a group of local people who are passionate about improving their local town.

Each event consisted of hearing stories of 5-6 great ideas followed by participants and speakers working together to explore and adapt ideas that incorporate the local context.

An integral part of the sharing of ideas is this website for sharing and browsing ideas online.

The Common Treasury aims to be more than a knowledge-hub: it aims to test and capture new processes of adaptation through which “Ideas from Elsewhere” act as catalysts for change in Hastings and beyond.


Underlying principles of the Common Treasury

We hope your inspiring ideas will help shift mind-sets – moving thinking beyond the existing ‘damage limitation’ approaches – to thinking about what community-led enterprises look like when based on a local economy that works within planetary limits and makes the links between:

  • people – health, wellbeing & meaningful activity
  • place – physical & public spaces, transport & geography
  • planet – climate change, energy, waste, the biosphere


Project Outcomes

The Common Treasury is intended to make a real difference to the local community enterprise sector – seeding new ideas, expanding existing enterprises, growing new community initiatives and creating clusters of complementary community businesses that will be instrumental in the evolution of the circular economy.

It wants to develop new reciprocal connections between guest ‘inspirers’ and local ‘initiators’ by weaving a web of connections through which ideas, inspiration and the hard work of adaptation come together to create a kind of local alchemy.

It also aims to encourage local anchor institutions to consider and explore the ideas that emerge and, as a result, co-create new forms of solution-focused partnership both within and between sectors.

Throughout the pilot, the focus will be on how the process of adaptation unfolds. At the end of the year, the learning from the process will be complied and shared with other towns across the UK.

The Common Treasury team

The Common Treasury team includes:
Sherry Clark, Co-chair, Transition Town Hastings & St Leonards
Julia Hilton, Director, Green Dreams Landscape Architects and Director Energise Sussex Coast.
Jess Steele, OBE, Director, Jericho Road
Richard Watson, OBE, Director, Energise Sussex Coast

Funded by Power to Change and Driven by Energise Sussex Coast, Transition Town Hastings and Jericho Road.