In November of 2010 Blog Preston teamed up with several other media projects and charities in Preston to bid for the NESTA Neighbourhood Challenge. We put together a joint bid with PrescapPreston FMBespoke Project at the University of Central Lancashire and CSV Preston to apply for funding. NESTA’s Neighbourhood Challenge is designed to support people who are trying to change their communities for the better, something that we’ve always tried to do with Blog Preston.

Our bid was successful and we have been chosen as one of NESTA’s Neighbourhood Challenge winners, meaning that over the next year we will be supported by significant funding to reach out more into the community, train people to talk about and record the issues that matter to them, and really get our teeth stuck into the neighbourhoods of Preston.

Using technology and software applications designed to make the job of recording (audio and video), writing and publishing information almost second nature, our project aims to establish a space for collaborative community media, bringing together three different territorial communities in Preston – Deepdale, Ribbleton and St. Matthew’s.

Community produced radio and TV, descriptions from blogs, comments, reactions and websites constitute an ideal foundation for neighbourhoods to find out about issues pertinent to them and to find out what local social groups are up to. A key element of this project is to move beyond giving communities a platform, to connecting collective voices for positive change. We want to create a surge of community journalism, to enable people to question and report what’s going on around them, and use our platform to showcase their work.

Over the next year we’ll be working with NESTA and the aforementioned organisations to make these ideas blossom, and we’ll keep you updated with all the future developments. Suffice it to say that 2011 is going to be a very exciting year for Blog Preston.

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