Residents saved their iconic neighbourhood bakery and transformed it into a thriving community run-business.
Operations Manager Angela McKay outside the bakery
Homebaked started in 2010 as a project in the old Mitchell’s bakery next to the Anfield stadium. The building was one of many buildings in the area that was to be demolished as part of the government’s controversial Housing Market Renewal initiative. In 2012, the Homebaked Community Land Trust (CLT) was born with the aim of renovating the bakery to create workspace for social enterprise and affordable housing.
The Homebaked Bakery Co-operative was incorporated in June 2012 by a group of local residents passionate about the possibilities of reopening the bakery in community ownership, and creating a successful enterprise with social as well as financial value.
The CLT has started on a process of designing and planning with the local residents to start breathing new life into the local area, while the bakery generates the brand and income, and acts as a hub for the local community.
“It’s easy to underestimate the power of voices and it’s easy to be passive, but if you just get out there and do something you can show what’s possible,” Cally Anne Highfield, local resident and Homebaked staff member told The Long + Short. “You can tear down bricks but you can’t take away the stories.”
New rules needed
Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.
Expand the community and co-operative banking sector
Stakeholder banks can be mandated to serve the public interest or local communities rather than simply to maximise returns.
Create devolved ‘just transition’ funds
Government should devolve a proportion of its Green New Deal budget to support local just transition plans.
Create affordable workspaces
Affordable workspaces are essential to the survival of independent businesses.
Austerity has pummelled living standards and public services. Now is the time to end it.
Promote community wealth building
Support co-ops to thrive in their localities by anchoring them within place-based industrial and community wealth building strategies.
Turn RBS into a network of local banks
New banks would be owned in trust for the public benefit and mandated to lend only within their local area.