16 Jun Global Ecovillage Network Conference, Investment and Site Purchase
GEN Conference in Sweden
Big news for this blog is that Enriched Earth Founder and Director has been invited to help co-create the Global Ecovillage Network European Conference, at Ängsbacka Ecovillage in Sweden this summer, as a Workshop Leader. He will present the vision and values of Enriched Earth to an international audience, a very exciting opportunity for the project. John-Paul will also be training to become a GEN Ambassador during the event and will have the opportunity to engage with other members of flourishing Ecovillages throughout Europe who will be sharing best practice on sustainable living across a broad range of themes and topics.
Investment and Site Purchase!
In other news, given that the NI Assembly remains in suspension since January (three days before our crucial meeting with the Minister for Infrastructure to win his support for NI adopting the One Planet Development Policy). The chances of us getting the One Planet Development Planning Policy adopted any time soon have grown very slim. As such we have changed focus from seeking to pioneer an Ecovillage development on a Green Field site (such as previous main target site in Fermanagh) and to explore sites with more suitable existing infrastructure or in planning development areas. We will however keep lobbying for a OPD policy, north and south.
So far we have a number of fantastic sites that we have found which are available for purchase for around £500,000. We currently have three potential sites in Northern Ireland and three in the West of Ireland that we are exploring. As such our priority is now shifting towards seeking the financial investment necessary for site purchase and development. We are thus redrafting business plan to explore these options and putting together an investor package to attract the critical private investment needed and will also be exploring public funding options.
This is a massive and exciting development, as it will enable us to overcome the thorny issue of planning for new builds in the countryside and enable us to simply redevelop existing infrastructure to meet our needs. Such an approach also seems a sound Eco approach in terms of ‘reusing’ existing resources.
Following our recent call for Directors, we have a number of people come forward to offer their services which is great and we will be appointing our new board soon, however we are still open to hearing from interested parties in this regard.