April 9-11, 2015
Local Coordinating Organization: University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Workshop Challenge: Franklin is defined by a strong cultural and historic identity in its industrial manufacturing past and also has an active arts community. The workshop focused on creating a healthy and vibrant community and a reinvigorated downtown for all ages to enjoy. To do this, Franklin focused on the development of affordable and accessible housing for all ages, building quality public spaces, cleaning up the riverfront, coordinating downtown improvement, and encouraging new, diverse businesses to open. Franklin wanted to ensure the availability of affordable housing options for seniors so that they could comfortably age in place and preserve Franklin’s cultural heritage.
Workshop Outcome: Over the course of the workshop, attendees discovered that broader quality of life concerns lack generational divides. Franklin workshop attendees defined livability for their community as the need for smaller and more efficient homes that are affordable and accessible to downtown without an automobile. Furthermore, attendees agreed that developing affordable and desirable housing was key to retaining young and elderly population and for stimulating economic growth in Franklin.
Post-Workshop Accomplishments: The successful workshop catalyzed a variety of projects and funding that are contributing to the redevelopment of Downtown Franklin. Since the conclusion of the workshop more than $82,000 of grants and resources have been leveraged by the community, including $50,000 from USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program. Three new businesses have been created, two existing businesses have expanded into larger spaces and a vacant lot in downtown has been transformed into an art park featuring metal sculptures by local artists. The grant is also funding work by a local developer and economic development expert to redevelop several former industrial properties in Franklin.
Read our blog about the workshop here.
Read our workshop notebook here.
Learn more about what Franklin has accomplished since our workshop by reading our blog, "Franklin, NH: Going Strong, One Year after a CIRD Community Workshop."*/