Community businesses, social enterprises, socially responsible corporate partners and individuals interested in community investment will go offline together for three days of incredible speakers, insightful and hands-on workshops, practical business skill-building talks, provocative panel discussions, yoga, music, communal meals and an all-round sense of community in the Buckinghamshire countryside.

“Communities are facing challenges all across the UK, but community businesses are enabling people to come together and overcome those challenges. Offline Festival comes at a perfect time to connect these businesses and encourage even more people to discover how they could start something amazing where they live ” says Peter Lefort, England Manager for Eden Project Communities

Keynote speakers and panellists will explore business strategy and funding, as well as how to balance sustainable growth with community and environmental impact in The Power Forum. The Patchwork Hub will host practical workshops to share marketing skills needed to pitch a community business and grow your network. Speakers, panellists and a music line-up will be announced in the build up to the day.

The ‘Eden Project Communities Allotment’ will host branding and storytelling workshops to help community businesses to connect with customers and attract funders or volunteers. The Woodland Retreat will be a recreational area with yoga, laughter therapy and stress busting meditation sessions, whilst The Village Green will encourage people to celebrate the Power of the Outdoors. Evening activities will also include a foot-stomping ceilidh band, comedy sessions and Fireside Storytelling by the campfire. The Eden Project will run a special one-off ‘Big Lunch’ on the closing day of the festival.

Offline Festival is powered by Project Dirt, the social action platform for communities, in collaboration with Power to Change. The Festival aims to provoke conversations between businesses, community groups and individuals, make valuable connections and expand the skill-sets needed to grow the awareness and impact of community business. The event has been co-created by people running community businesses to ensure relevance, harness their knowledge and accelerate their impact.

Project Dirt works to help community businesses and projects find the resources they need to grow their impact. Although we run an online platform, we recognise how crucial it is for people striving to improve their local communities to come together in person to share experiences and learn. At the same time we wanted to set up an event that would be a celebration of creativity and success, and allow families and friends to share in the fun!” says Nick Gardner, co-founder of Project Dirt.

With a total of 500 tickets, around 100 community businesses are expected to attend the event. Offline Festival Early Bird Tickets are available until 31st May 2017 and can be purchased from the website: www.offlinefestival.org.uk

Notes to Editors

About Project Dirt

Project Dirt is an online platform that galvanises grassroots social action. It connects community projects with local people and organisations who want to help them to achieve their goals and join their story.

Find out more at: www.projectdirt.com

About Community Businesses

A Community Business is: “A business set up and led by local people to look after what matters to them. Any profits flow back into the business to deliver positive local impact.” (www.powertochange.org.uk)

There are more than 7000 community businesses across England. Examples range from village shops, to community-owned pubs, food-growing enterprises, housing co-operatives, and community energy groups.

About Power to Change

Power to Change is an independent charitable trust set up to support community businesses to create better places across England.

About Eden Project Communities  

The Eden Project supports and encourages people all over the UK to take positive actions that strengthen local connections and build stronger communities. Initiatives include The Big Lunch (www.thebiglunch.com), the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, an idea from the Eden Project made possible by the Big Lottery Fund. Ongoing support for community businesses and projects is available from their resources online and in print, their UK wide team and the existing participant network which extends right across the UK.

For high resolution images, interviews and other queries,

please contact Melanie Vella, Communications Manager, Project Dirt

E: melanie@projectdirt.com

T: 07783371070