It's official! Launch event means Norwich is now UK's first sharing city
Norwich Business Improvement District
Norwich is now officially the UK's first sharing city, following a launch event of an initiative which encourages people and businesses to help each other for the common good.
The city joins the likes of New York, Barcelona, Athens and Dallas in securing the status.
The idea is that groups across the Norwich work together, passing on knowledge and expertise to help boost grassroots campaigns and grow businesses.
The not-for-profit Norwich Sharing City campaign was launched in 2017 by Flibl, a content and communications agency.
The campaign has since grown, with support from Norwich Business Improvement District.
And today saw some 100 people attend the launch event of the city being welcomed into the family of other like-minded cities as part of the Sharing Cities Alliance.
Caroline Bidewell, head of operations at Norwich BID, which organised the event in Blackfriars Hall, said: “Today Norwich has been put firmly on the map as the UK’s first Sharing City.
“It’s been fantastic to see so much enthusiasm for the sharing economy and celebrate local initiatives.
“We hope this event will act as a catalyst to shape more activity in the city, to be shared with alliance members across the globe.”
Local sharing organisations represented at the launch included Liftshare, GoodGym, Norwich Farmshare, Refill, Culture Banks, KindaKafe, Castle Mall, New U, Norwich Car Club, The Norwich Note and Lumi from Norwich City Council.
Guests were welcomed by Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, who introduced opening talks from Mattia Marini, chief cities officer of the Sharing Cities Alliance, based in Amsterdam.
Ali Clabburn, chief executive of Liftshare, highlighted global environmental challenges and said the organisation had already helped drivers and passengers save 750 million car miles.
Sue Buffin and Caitlin Seale, from New U, a clothes and accessories swapping shop and the UK’s first cashless shop, based in Castle Mall talked about how they are helping young people get access to smart clothes for free when attending job interviews.
And Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, spoke about the importance of the initiative is for the city.