Further to our recent meeting I have summarised below how we might be of assistance in developing a vision for Farnham Town Centre. As discussed at the meeting, my recommended approach is a four stage process, generally in workshop mode (half day sessions), aimed at engaging key partners and shaping a vision to which all the main agencies are committed.
Stage 1: The State of Farnham: During the first stage we suggest establishing an evidence base for the vision, by analysing local conditions - economic, social, environmental - set within a national context. Since Waverley Council has recently subscribed to our on-line Local Knowledge service this will be a relatively cost effective exercise, and will provide firm foundations for the visioning exercise, highlighting local strengths and weaknesses. It will also help in connecting the Town Centre vision with the ambitions of the local Community Strategy.
Stage 2: Future Drivers of Change: Next we assess the 'Drivers of Change' that are likely to affect things in the future, and work with participants to highlight future opportunities and threats. We highlight the importance and uncertainty of the drivers, and assess their potential impact on current conditions (hence the robustness of existing strategies).
Stage 3: Scenarios: This stage involves the development of future scenarios. It is, again, workshop based and draws on the Future Drivers of Change analysis and other insights to develop future scenarios for Farnham Town centre. These are designed to provide compelling alternative views of the future, highlighting local implications and impacts. They also challenge the participants to consider potential future realities and, under the right conditions, their preferred options.
Stage 4: Vision and Strategic Priorities: This final stage is designed to identify strategic priorities, set within the context of an overall ‘vision’. We use a variety of techniques to identify key elements of a vision and generate an overall vision statement, and then work with participants to agree the main aims/objectives and priorities for action.
Our preferred approach is fairly flexible and, as you will see, involves a combination of presentations/information and facilitated exercises, with the work undertaken primarily in workshop settings involving your major partner organisations. The headline findings are then written up at the conclusion of each session. Key to our approach is the shaping of a vision that is recognised by all partners and to which they are all committed.
Our fee for each of the workshops is £5,000 (+ VAT and expenses). This would include the preparation of materials, presentation of the findings (and facilitation) at the workshops and write-up of the outputs.
While this is very much our recommended approach, I would be happy to discuss variations on the approach. For example, if you feel that 4 seperate sessions will take up too much of your partners time it may be possible to run the sessions back-to-back, taking two days in total complete the exercise.
I do hope this is of interest and there are any queries please do let me know.
Please note our new address
John Fisher, Director
Local Futures Group
30 Little Russell Street
tel: 020 74407360