Aims of the project:

  • Reduce waste in the city by diverting reusable items from landfill
  • Improve the productivity of resources within the city – including office equipment, spaces and people’s skills
  • Connect local organisations and improve their access to resources in order to drive economic growth.

Share Peterborough is an online sharing economy platform. The platform allows local businesses, charities, schools and community groups to share resources that they are not fully utilising, whether that be products, equipment, skills or spaces. Organisations are able to find a new home for items that they no longer need, such as IT equipment or office furniture, and also share a whole host of assets, from meeting rooms to 3D printers. The platform is distinctly unique as all items placed on the platform are available for free, essentially creating a local sharing economy outside of the normal currency.

Key challenges and how were these overcome:

  • The platform was initially being used by new users primarily to advertise promotions and discounts. We overcame this issue by delivering a programme of workshops to educate new users on the purpose of the platform and to provide businesses with different ideas about how they could use and make the most of the platform.
  • A substantial proportion of transactions are happening ‘off’ the site, making it difficult to track the level of activity on the platform. To address this issue, we worked with businesses to design additional features and functionality to incentive transactions going through the site, such as developing user levels/badges and business profiles to showcase the positive social, environmental and economic impacts that each organisation is having through each success story.

Key learnings:

  • Listening and engaging with local businesses from the outset has been key in ensuring the project addresses real business challenges and also to shape the further development of the site.
  • Face-to-face engagement with businesses has been far more effective as a mechanism to recruit organisations than online marketing.

Organisation: Opportunity Peterborough & Peterborough City Council

How long has the project been operational: Since 2017

How long the project took from concept approval to implementation: 17 months

Funding: In 2012, the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, launched a UK-wide competition challenging cities to change the way they run. Cities were called upon to shape smarter and more sustainable places. Peterborough came 2nd and was awarded £3 million to test, develop and implement new concepts and ideas to create a more sustainable city to live and work in.  Share Peterborough is one of the projects that was designed and delivered through this programme.

Picture courtesy of: Share Peterborough

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