Getting a new idea off the ground or into a building isn’t easy. Marcus Westbury, founder of Renew Newcastle, is a specialist enabling the ideas of others. The success of Renew Newcastle activating unused building for creatives, micro-businesses and community groups has resulted in the regeneration of a regional city.
We asked Marcus how saw the need for change in Newcastle, and how he went in and created a solution. He replied, “My intension was to create a process to address the problem, which grew to become Renew Newcastle.”
Marcus witnessed the difficulties of people with ideas to make and create, and he saw that the city was failing because lack of people doing things. Creating Cities, is his recent self-published book, unpacks the complexity of these problems.
Marcus has been working in the creative industries for over 20 years and has been involved in DIY projects, events and festivals. Activities that are about talented people who are taking on a challenge for the first time and taking a risk to see why or why not their ideas work.
Renew Newcastle lowers the barriers to entry so people can try out their thing and get an idea off the ground. “I was seeing a lot of projects fail for creatives. Their projects were failing not because of lack of talent or ability, but because of lack of space, or legal issues or the impossibility of signing a lease for five years.”
“I’ve never had the resources to tell someone what sort of work to do, or demand that they do my ideas for me. I discovered the trick of enabling the ideas of others, rather than trying to get others to implement mine.”
Marcus will be talking more about Creating Cities at the next Outside the Square event in Bendigo Places for Change Thursday 15th of October.