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photo: The three founding members of Riversmeet signing its constitution in July 2009

Riversmeet Community Cooperative was constituted in May 2009 to serve the needs and aspirations of an expanding network of community activists,  It has been established, with a cooperative model of governance, to provide a strong legal and financial framework, that will ensure that our strategy and decision-making is lead by active citizens drawn from the Network.

Our approach is to strengthen  community capacity to respond creatively to change, by developing people, strengthening relationships and fostering connections between diverse community networks and the land resource within our bioregion.

Riversmeet emerged in Cockermouth from an RSA Coffee House Challenge Event that prompted a series of local environmental forums in 2006. Following these gatherings, a small group began to experiment with ways to widen environmental awareness and promote community action on local sustainable development.

The first two years were devoted to raising awareness of global challenges and the local response needed. During this period we organised over 32 events, involving over 1500 members of the community, including a conference in 2008 with Clare Short as the guest speaker.

Throughout this period, the Network was supported and funded through The Cockermouth Partnership, by The Royal Society of Arts, The Arts Council, Allerdale Borough Council,North West Regional Development Agency, and Cumbria Community Foundation. Since 2006, Riversmeet has benefited from the equivalent of £250k of voluntary professional support from its community network.