Who Are We?…… 

  • Population: 4900 – 150+ employers
Uppingham First

Uppingham First is the award-winning Community Partnership for Uppingham Following the demise of the Chamber of Commerce, along with a few business people the Uppingham First Partnership was created and became a limited company in January 2009

Its Board of 13 brings together the three society sectors recognised by government; business, civil, and statutory sectors

Business Sector – 7 Directors

Civil Society Sector– 3 Directors

Statutory Sector – 3 Directors 

Milestones for Uppingham

Winner: Britain in Bloom (Small town) 2017

Winner: East Midlands in Bloom 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and to date

Best Neighbourhood in East Midlands 2018 

Winner: Uppingham Webcam – Best idea to promote local business

Winner: East of England Awards – Uppingham Town Council Heritage Trail

Top 5: Great British High Street Awards 2015

Neighbourhood Plan Front Runner 2012–15

Town Centre & Business Zones Plan 2017  (Promoted by Locality around the UK)                                                                        

East Midlands Women’s Awards   2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

One of top ten places to live in UK 2020

Business & Community Partners

Uppingham Town Council

Local Businesses & Schools

Uppingham Business Forum

Uppingham Neighbourhood Forum

Rutland County Council

Government, LEP and Statutory Agencies

Locality; NCVO; CTA; Surgery; Blue Lights

Rotary; In Bloom; Churches; WI; Community

Groups; Women in the High Street 

Our Evolution

Business Forum created following the demise of the Chamber of Trade

Town Centre Manager trial led by RCC

Neighbourhood Forum created with help from Voluntary Action Rutland

Advice on ‘what makes an effective partnership?’ provided in legal event

Partnership of forums created in consultation with RCC and UTC to enable executive action and public accountability. Company formed.

Alternative movement creates second town partnership which majors on ‘events’

Two partnerships evolve in ‘relative’ harmony

Newsletters and websites created

Various projects evolve including broadband

UF pursues a collaborative approach through community projects and slowly becomes town and community advocate through competitions and awards

N Plan a major step forward and dramatically raises the profile of the town

Town Center Plan follows + housing project, Emergency Plan, Defib Network. Hopper and webcam now famous

A number of excellent projects help promote the town e.g. Heritage and Tree Trails, UppWatch, Covid Response, UppShop, Vanguard Board

Over time second Town Partnership loses its directors and disbandsUF moves forward to support a now wider range of community events and activities

Health and Well-being relationships under continuous development

Company Articles updated

Three Key Evolutionary Changes/Challenges

Partnership Working

A challenge for some – We now have a Vanguard Board

Less about control – more about empowerment

More significant contributions by women

Virtual as well as Physical Uppingham

EU Leader Funding bid – voice-led rather than keyboard public and private  sector staff to manage the virtual interface

UppShop – Online Meetings – Covid 19 – church example

Virtual Governance and New Democracy

Alexa enquiries – online voting – live audio visual participation in meetings – Business, Civil Society & schools contributing to debate

Community leadership and engagement encouraged – Abolish/reduce council precept –

Earn income using new general power of competence – Community Bank – Community Energy –

Young entrepreneurs – Joint service delivery at local level and online – parish law updated? –

next generation voters and community activists engaged

Major Projects Include

Town Council (Meets monthly)

Heritage Trail, LED Lighting, Skate Park, Town centre refurbishment (public and private sector investment), second Neighbourhood Plan

Community/Civil Society Sector  (Meets quarterly)

Neighbourhood Forum

UppWatch (good neighbour and N Watch scheme)

Uppingham Emergency Plan and Defibrillator Network

Tree Trails

Uppingham First (Business, State, Civil Society – Meets quarterly)   

Business Forum & Neighbourhood & Town Centre Plans (£230K CIL)

Virtual Uppingham (EU Leader bid) & Uppingham Webcam (Crowdfunding)

Uppingham Hopper Bus (Community, business, donations + lottery)

Tourism Trails – Antiques, Arts, Books and Creative Crafts/Electric cars

Under 35’s Housing Project – (Locality funded feasibility study – now UHCLT)

Fibre TTP Broadband & Women in the High Street

Uppingham Community Events 2023


Stilton Car Run – 250 + cars 


Uppingham Feast – Led by volunteers Lucy Stephenson and James Torbell

June to Sept

Social Sundays with music and alfresco dining


Round Rutland Run

45mile route around Rutland villages returning to Uppingham for lunch and music in the market place



Late Night Shopping Community Event


Uppingham Neighbourhood Forum


Significant Women in the Change Process

Uppingham has always promoted and supported women in business, community, and civic rolls

Lord Lieutenant – Dr. Sarah Furness

County Council CEO – Helen Briggs

Only Female County Council Cabinet Member – Lucy Stephenson – Uppingham Ward Member and later Leader

Deputy Leader (Independent Group) RCC – Miranda Jones

Chair Uppingham Neighbourhood Forum – Janet Thompson

Chair Uppingham in Bloom – Pam Dalby

Town Clerk and Support – Now Sharon and Cynthia

Business Proprietors – now 50+% women

UppShop Pioneers – 80% women

Rotary, E J Toon, UppWatch, Emergency Plan Team – MJS

Covid 19 Response Teams – 75% women

New generation parish councillors – Lucy Lewin & Liz Clarke

New Hopper Bus Team – one third women

Web design – Hannah Cheshire – ClockedIn