6 key elements
1. Owned and managed as a community enterprise
In order for the community of Totnes to have a limited control over the town’s future economic, environmental, social and cultural needs, it is necessary to acquire and manage the site for and on behalf of residents of Totnes & District. Only by being landowners will the community of Totnes be able to exert influence over the management of the site and the types of businesses that are attracted to the town.
The aim is to select commercially viable businesses that wish to lease properties and areas at Atmos Totnes in order to best facilitate the smooth transition of the Town’s economy to a low carbon and self reliant form that will best meet the full range of needs of the town in the age after cheap oil. By owning the site the community will be able to re-invest trading profits in order to further its vision.
2. Carbon neutral development
Atmos Totnes is aligned to the emerging response to climate change and peak oil. As a working example of Transition in action Atmos will put Totnes at the forefront of the low-carbon revolution. It will be an architecturally significant, low-carbon, exemplar development and act as a transport ‘gateway’ to Totnes and the wider area. The built environment will respond, by design, to the impact of climate change and peak oil.
3. Complement and improve the prosperity of other organisations
Atmos Totnes will attract new investment, new talent and new customers to Totnes, South Hams and the South West by demonstrating how a sustainable community enterprise and a low-carbon, post-oil economy can be established and managed.
4. An inspiring place to work, learn, live and relax
Atmos Totnes will attract new intellectual capital creating synergies and opportunities for employers and leaders in the low-carbon industry. It will generate a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to training and education and create excellent community and civic space for all those using the site. Where housing is needed in order to establish financial viability as much as possible will be low cost (affordable) and all will be first or second floor thereby preserving the ground floor for employment use.
5. Establishing a meaningful connection with this historic town
It is critical the development taking place on the site stimulates and supports the wider economic, social and community growth across Totnes. No longer is it acceptable for developments to not be rooted within the wider needs of the whole community.
Atmos Totnes will seek to establish linkage to the town centre of Totnes so as to support the economic development of the retail heart. The development and management of Atmos Totnes will therefore ensure that no existing businesses are displaced and moreover will actively encourage synergies between the towns existing business and those locating at Atmos.
6. Financial viability
In developing the business case there is a need to ensure that the proposals are viable. Business people, social entrepreneurs and academics around the world are proving that enterprises can fully embrace a combination of sustainability, community benefit and profit. In line with other Totnes projects such as REconomy, Economic Blueprint and the forthcoming Local Entrepreneurs Forum, we will attract, nurture and support enterprises that enrich Totnes economically and socially. Even at this early stage, people are coming forward with all kinds of business ideas for the site, as well as with existing businesses they would like to move to Atmos.