Lyndhurst Community Centre: An Innovation History

October 2012, Mari Martiskainen.

Lyndhurst Community Centre is a charity-run community building located in Lyndhurst, New Forest, Hampshire. It was built in 1962 and has over the decades become a hub of the village. The Centre is regularly used by over 40 local community groups and businesses, and activities range from art, aviation, photography, music and sport to farmers’ markets and other special events. Lyndhurst Community Centre went through a complete, £700,000 refurbishment during 2009-2010 and as a result the building now houses an improved library, new kitchen, meeting rooms and a biomass boiler. Lyndhurst Community Centre was the first community centre in the New Forest to install a biomass heating system, creating also opportunities for local wood fuel supply networks to develop. The refurbishment’s part-funder, the New Forest National Park Authority, has facilitated links between local wood fuel supply and demand, creating uses for previously unmanaged woodland. This innovation history traces the development of the Lyndhurst Community Centre’s refurbishment, from ideas stage into practical implementation.
Lyndhurst Community Centre Innovation History

Community Energy Innovation Histories

CISE is conducting 12 in-depth case studies of community energy projects, to better understand how these innovations emerge, develop, spread and grow.

Each case study is written up as an ‘Innovation History’, allowing participants to explain their own individual stories, with researcher reflections and insights inserted into the text.

Ro Randall – founder of Carbon Conversations – stated how the innovation history approach, and conceiving of Carbon Conversations as an ‘innovation’, had made her think about things in a new way. She says:

“Reading your draft has helped me reflect on the relationship between innovation/innovators and the networks of people and support that give them space to innovate. Innovation often gets seen as having an ’author’, rather than being a group or network product and although I was pivotal, Andy’s role was absolutely key. I could have innovated my socks off but without his technical expertise – from knowledge of the science and technology, through to his ability to manage the finances and website – little would have happened. Beyond that there has been a much larger network of people who have contributed to the project and perhaps don’t get recognised as they should. Maybe there are inevitable tensions between innovative projects and the environments that nurture them. Good reflective practice can certainly be helped by having people from the outside taking a look – they see different things, offer other frameworks and that can be really useful.”

We hope you enjoy our Innovation Histories, we will make them available here throughout 2012 as they are completed.