Boosting the local economy - supply chain logistics

Running through much of the work undertaken by Nautilus is support to build and underpin communities and the local economy - by shortening supply chains, encouraging and growing businesses, and making the most of technology and logistics to add value, boost sales and cut costs. This is all the more critical in rural and peripheral communities - where high dependencies on natural resources is the norm - fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, forestry, and the great outdoors (the marine and terrestrial environments used for leisure, recreation and tourism).

At a local level over the years our work has taken us to most parts of the UK and Ireland - to a wide range of coastal and island communities, to way-station communities located between producer and market providing added value and logistical services, and to communities that benefit from proximity to sought after natural environments (National Parks, Marine Protected Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and national and community owned and operated forests). And in so doing we have been able to help quantify the scale of ecosystem and economic benefits that can be derived good stewardship and sustainable exploitation of these environments and resources, and help guide development of local businesses - in food processing, catering, and tourism offers (sailing and mountain biking, hill walking and gourmet trails), and in moves to achieve recognition of sustainable behaviour and practice.

In parallel with this Crick has been working with his local community to identify how it can benefit from many of these same opportunities, working alongside his local Community Council and Development Trust to design strategies and plans to balance the often conflicting pressures typical of a sought after settlement - retention and enhancement of the built and cultural traditions of town and area, and management of the expansion of the town in ways that do not undermine and diminish these traditions. Whilst every developer seems to want to build houses in our settlement for yet more commuter families, none want to provide premises for doctor's surgeries, care facilities, and affordable homes, let alone for new businesses. This is not to canvas for no development, but rather to build and strengthen those systems that can promote balance and support sustainable development - strengthen systems of local democracy, encourage community involvement, facilitate community empowerment initiatives, and increase community ownership and management of local at least some services and town infrastructure.

In line with the above, Crick is currently working with Scottish Borders Council and the Change Works in Peebles project to identify how to facilitate greater local business involvement in building upgrade work in the town. In this case the focus is on freeing up procurement and supply chain systems to allow greater participation of local trades in promoting energy sustainability, reducing energy demand, and making our homes, business premises and public buildings more energy efficient.