The Story of Trowbridge Future

Trowbridge Future’s origins go back to the 1990s when a group of local residents and business people set up a group called Trowbridge Twenty Twenty, to identify key local issues, devise projects and work to shape the long-term future of the town.

In 2002 it became Trowbridge Future and received funding from the Market and Coastal Towns Initiative to develop a community plan. The plan had seven different themes and each theme had its own champion and working group that reported to the steering group which also held larger public meetings 2 or 3 times a year.

In 2008 when Wiltshire became a unitary authority it was split into a number of areas each with an Area Board and a Community Area Partnership (CAP). Trowbridge Future then changed its name to Trowbridge Community Area Future and became the CAP for Trowbridge. In this role TCAF received funding from Wiltshire Council, continued to manage the community plan, to facilitate and support other organisations and to lobby on behalf of Trowbridge. Among other projects TCAF supported at this time were the Friends of Biss Meadow and Trowbridge Town Hall Trust both of which owing to TCAF have gone on to become independent charities in their own right.

In 2014 Wiltshire Council cut its funding of CAPs.  Although TCAF secured a grant from Trowbridge Town Council it could not continue to operate as it had with the reduced funding. Between 2014 and 2015 TCAF carried out a major review of its activities including a piece of research in the neighbourhoods in Trowbridge to identify their needs and priorities. As a result the decision was taken to apply to become an independent charity working for the disadvantaged people of Trowbridge.

The application was eventually successful and TCAF became a charity in February 2016. Following Wiltshire Council’s decision to cut all its youth services it was obvious there was a need to develop youth activities on Studley Green, Longfield and Seymour.

In September 2016 with support from the Wiltshire Community Foundation and the Trowbridge Youth Network TCAF appointed a qualified youth worker and began work on Studley Green and Seymour. Since then TCAF has developed to running youth cafes on Studley Green, Seymour and Longfield, detached work in the Stallards Skate Park and mentoring sessions at John of Gaunt School reaching over 160 young people with around 60 attending regularly.

In 2017 TCAF took over a vacant premise in the Shires Shopping Centre and established the BA14 Community Hub. Working initially with a group of local charities TCAF created this into a space, staffed largely by volunteers, where people can come to ask for advice and signposting and to get involved in the community.

Having considered for some time the need to change its name and having tried Brighter Aspirations as the title for its youth project and after consultation with the young people it works with TCAF has decide to go back to its original name Trowbridge Future.

Trowbridge Future is an independent charity. Apart from an annual grant from Trowbridge Town Council its income comes from funds it has raised from applications to funders.