Scoping, launch, events, activation, cafe operation, community management, evaluation
An early community destination forging important social connections and providing opportunities for local community groups and small business.
Sprout Hub Aurora is a small temporary multi-use community venue that provides a casual meeting place for the community ahead of more permanent facilities being built in Lendlease’s Aurora development. Sprout Hub Aurora, is a fully operational cafe, event and meeting space as well as a popular space for families and groups to connect. As well as engaging the community through programs driven by the Sprout Hub, we have opened up the space for locals to become members and utilise the Hub to hold community events - giving more autonomy and ownership back to the community.
This is the second Sprout Hub to launch in Australia following the success of Sprout Hub Alkimos pilot project launched in WA in 2014. Opening in 2017, Aurora Sprout Hub is part of a nationwide roll out of sites based on the Sprout Hub model, developed by Sprout in partnership with Lendlease, that gives residents a place to call their own at the very beginning of a new greenfield housing development.
A social impact survey found that in Sprout Hub Aurora’s first year of operation:
All activities, programming and systems are deliberately designed and measured against goals and outcomes for the community. Sprout Hub Aurora has been designed through the lens of four primary goals.
COMMUNITY-FEEL FIT OUT
It was important for us to add the soft touches to the space, creating a welcoming and homely feeling for visitors. From planter boxes, a community noticeboard and help-yourself colouring in equipment - we believe it’s these little details that give a space its unique character.
We assisted Lendlease with the procurement and design of the hub facility from local Melbourne company, Archiblox.
SPACE OPERATIONS & COMMUNITY CAFE
Driving casual social interaction is an important outcome in the context of a new community. We achieved this primarily through creating an inviting café environment which acts as a passive activation engine. We’re responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the Hub facilities and management of the cafe with our terrific local team on the ground delivering a high quality coffee and food offering. As people come in to grab a coffee and snack, a pathway to deeper community engagement is provided. The enterprise element of the project also assists in creating a sustainable model with less long-term reliance on external funding.
EVENTS AND PROGRAMMING
Our team has an ongoing role as a connection point to the community, engaging potential users of the space, such as local leaders, groups, businesses, service providers and other organisations. This role includes ensuring the facility is host to a range of events and activities that target specific focus groups and space users.
DIGITAL PORTAL, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING
A core component of the project involves engagement with the broader community through marketing channels. Sprout created and moderates a digital community portal, dedicated social media channels and other marketing collateral. This has been a key component to the success of the Sprout Hub model, both in terms of driving visitation and space utilisation, and in connecting local community groups and businesses to the broader community.
THE SEEDLING FUND - COMMUNITY GRANTS PROGRAM
In order to support local groups and clubs in the communities we service, Sprout Ventures has set up the Seedling Fund. The Fund facilitates a community governance model, which transfers ownership of development activities to the community itself. It was established to create a culture of contribution, and involves local people via online voting. Ten cents in every dollar spent at the Sprout Hub is made available to the community. Sprout manages the fund with the support of Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation.