BuildHub

History of BuildHub.org.uk

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BuildHub.org.uk – The Back Story

This forum exists today because of one unfortunate event, the closure of a much-loved UK self-build and renovation forum, together with some extraordinary coincidences that happened to bring together, initially via email, a group of like-minded people who had the right mix of skills and experience and a strong commitment to ensuring that the extraordinary knowledge base provided by the closed forum was not completely lost

No one person had the idea for this forum, and no one person made it happen.  It grew out of some ideas by a group of  sixteen people, exchanging emails in an initially fairly chaotic fashion, and who then gathered on a quickly set up temporary forum. 

Many ideas were bounced around, from trying to get the closed forum resurrected, through to creating a repository of knowledge, rather like a self-build and renovation version of Wikipedia.  As with any community project, the sixteen founder members had lots of ideas, many differing opinions and several days were spent discussing things, without there being any clearly defined objective.

We realised we had some very good technical expertise, four of the former moderators of the forum that had closed, several experienced self-builders, and some trade experts.  Once it became clear that the old forum had closed permanently, with there being no easy way to resurrect it, the Forum Foundation Group (as we had by then decided to call ourselves) had to make a decision, “What do we do now?”

It seemed clear that many people wanted to see a replacement for the closed forum, as there was nothing comparable available on the web in the UK.  Offers of funding were made from Forum Foundation Group members keen to see things happen, discussions took place and group decisions were made to create a new forum, acquire a domain and web hosting service, purchase licenses for software and start a new forum.

Many may think this is easy, but to cope with the number of likely members interested in self-build and renovation, and to provide a forum with at least as good a level of functionality, including the ability to host blogs and to look and feel similar to the old forum, proved to be a relatively costly and very time consuming process.  Sadly two Forum Foundation Group members had to leave part way through, because of the level of the high level personal commitment and effort involved, but their contribution was recognised and valued by the whole group.

Whilst the whole Forum Foundation Group were committed to a forum that was run “by the members and for the members”, and was to be run solely for the benefit of the community, not as a profit making business, it was hard to decide on a governance model.  The Forum Foundation Group of fourteen people jointly owned and operated this forum initially, and created an Association of Members, with a written Constitution and elected committee and officers, to ensure that funds were collected and spent with the agreement of all, with clear accountability.

The work of the Forum Foundation Group is almost complete.  The new Buildhub.org.uk Forum is now established and the Forum Foundation Group will meet in the next few months to set up the long term member-owned and operated entity that will manage this forum in future.  As soon as that entity is established, the Forum Foundation Group will dissolve and any remaining funds will be transferred to the new community owned entity, with arrangements being agreed to repay any loans that have been made.   The new Buildhub.org.uk Forum managing entity will retain the same guiding principles of the Forum Foundation Group, to protect the future of the forum and to prevent its members becoming part of a commercial, profit making, company.

How the forum evolves and operates in future will be down to you, the members.

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