Lichfield Community Media is a volunteer-run organisation, based in Lichfield, which aims to provide news and information to the communities of Lichfield District through the use of digital technologies.
We (LCM) started out as The Lichfield Blog (TLB) in February 2009 and quickly grew from there. We rebranded that site in 2011 to Lichfield Live – a name that more accurately depicts what we do. Along the way we found a whole movement of sites like ours, commonly referred to as hyperlocals.
This movement has grown in strength, with Lichfield Live very much part of the lead pack. It became clear that sustainability was an issue though, with most sites run by a few volunteers in their spare time.
LCM is a response to this. Primarily it operates Lichfield Live but it also pursues other ventures in order to support this activity. The first of these is a locally-relevant t-shirt brand, Viva LichVegas.
As part of this, LCM will be incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC) to serve a number of needs including financing and legal issues. Becoming a CIC also helps to enshrine our community-focused principles into a memorandum on which we are regulated.
One thing to be clear on is that although LCM is a not-for-profit endeavour it is still a commercial enterprise and can make a profit. The difference from a normal commercial enterprise is that the profit does not go to shareholders in the form of dividends – it must remain within LCM and used to further it’s aims.
That’s why we set up Viva LichVegas. The t-shirt brand is a purely commercial venture, aimed at generating revenue which will help us to finance the operation of Lichfield Live at a time when the news industry is struggling to raise finance from traditional revenue sources.
We’re incredibly excited about this new direction and the many more adventures we’ll be going on. We hope you’ll join us.