Cheap Street in Frome. September 2007. Attribution: Tom Oates.
Location data
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Location Frome, Somerset
Page data
Keywords Towns, Participatory budgeting, Flatpack democracy, Open homes, Community Fridge, Library of things
Authors Phil Green
Published 2020
License CC BY-SA 4.0
Page views 137
Climate action data
Reduction date 2030
Climate emergency organization Frome Town Council
Climate emergency declaration December 2018
Climate assembly Town council hosted a series of free climate panels, 2019
Climate action plan Frome Town Council

Frome ( (listen) FROOM) is a town and civil parish in eastern Somerset, England. The town is built on uneven high ground at the eastern end of the Mendip Hills, and centres on the River Frome. It is approximately 13 miles (21 km) south of Bath, 43 miles (69 km) east of the county town, Taunton and 107 miles (172 km) west of London. In the 2011 census, the population was given as 26,203. The town is the largest in the Mendip district of Somerset and is part of the parliamentary constituency of Somerton and Frome.

Frome was one of the largest towns in Somerset until the Industrial Revolution, and was larger than Bath from AD 950 until 1650. The town first grew due to the wool and cloth industry; it later diversified into metal-working and printing, although these have declined. The town was enlarged during the 20th century but retains a large number of listed buildings, and most of the centre falls within a conservation area.

The town has road and rail transport links and acts as an economic centre for the surrounding area. It provides a centre for cultural and sporting activities, including the annual Frome Festival and Frome Museum. A number of notable individuals were born in, or have lived in, the town. In 2014, Frome was called the "sixth coolest town" in Britain by The Times newspaper. Frome was shortlisted as one of three towns in the country for the 2016 Urbanism Awards in the 'Great Town Award' category. In its 2018 report on the "Best places to live in the UK", The Sunday Times listed Frome as the best in the South West. In April 2019, Time Out listed Frome among 15 of the best weekend breaks from London. Nearby towns are Warminster, Westbury, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge.

Climate action[edit | edit source]

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

On 13 December 2017 the Town Council unanimously agreed to become a 'single-use plastic'-free council. W

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

There are a number of public green spaces within the town, both formal and informal; some are substantial such as the Victoria Park or the Rodden Meadow; others may be smaller but are valued within their neighbourhoods, such as Weylands or the Dippy. Many of the public spaces have organised litter picks, arranged by local community groups. W

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

Town Council logo, Frome, Somerset: "Made differently" slogan is echoed by different fonts in the 'Frome' element. April 2019, 16:36:23. Attribution: Frome Town Council

The civil parish of Frome has adopted the style of a town, and there is a Town Council of 17 members. In May 2019 all 17 council members elected were members of the Independents for Frome party (ifF). W The Town Council has been involved in a number of sustainability orientated initiatives, see subsequent sections.

see also: Community involvement UK, Flatpack democracy

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Two cycling clubs operate in the town: the Frome CTC, nicknamed the Coffee and Tea-Cake Club, and the Frome & District Wheelers. E-bikes are available for hire, courtesy of a Town Council initiative. W

Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]

Fairtrade Frome

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Food Frome, food heritage society - Frome Allotments - Incredible Edible Frome

The Town Council installed the first community fridge in the country in May 2016; 90,000 items a year have been saved from landfill. This was joined by a community larder in October 2017.

Frome has an online market, the Food Hub launched in November 2018, where sustainable supplies from local farmers and food producers can be sourced, either for collection or by delivery (central Frome only). W

Health and wellbeing[edit | edit source]

A project, Compassionate Frome, to combat loneliness in the town was established by a local GP in 2013. It is claimed that it reduced emergency hospital admissions by 17% over three years when in the rest of the county they rose by 29%. W

Localism[edit | edit source]

Independence Day - Frome, a 2012 event

Sharing[edit | edit source]

SHARE: a Library of Things, Frome

In early 2015, the UK's first high street Library of Things was set up in the town. In one year (May 2018 to April 2019), use of the shop helped avoid 92 tonnes CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions, saved 117,000 kg of material usage and avoided 10 tonnes of manufacturing waste. In the same period its members collectively saved £66,800 by borrowing instead of buying items. W

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

The Town Council employs a resilience officer, one of only two at town council or parish level in the country; a principal task is to support the strategic priorities for transport. Initiatives include a public-access car club, operated by the social enterprise Co-wheels. Electric charging points are available at the Cheese and Grain, the Town Hall, the Football Club and Frome Medical Practice. W

Frome is an accredited Walkers are Welcome town since 2018. An extensive list of walks and guides is available. Guided walks on a range of topics are now online. W

Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]

  • Edventure Frome, school for community enterprise, added 17:05, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

Resources[edit | edit source]

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

News and comment[edit | edit source]


Local councils can be both arrogant and enabling. They chop down the trees overnight in Doncaster …and ask the citizens to plan their foliage and foresting in Frome, Nov 23 [1] ...Yorkshire and the Humber news


If a corporation can have "legal personhood", so can a river. And not just the River Ganges... but the River Frome too.[2] Sep 10


The town that's found a potent cure for illness – community, Feb 21, George Monbiot [3]


From the pub to the Town Council: on how citizens took control of local politics, Peter MacFadyen, Apr 6 [4]


Can Frome become UK's first fossil fuel free town? Feb 23 [5]


Frome Wins The Great Town Award, November 6 [6]

A Library of Things Puts Frome On the Map as a Sharing Town, June 10 [7]

How Flatpack Democracy beat the old parties in the People's Republic of Frome, May 22 [8]

UK's first SHARE shop to open in Frome, April 21 [9]


Peter MacFadyen on Independents for Frome, June 8 [10]


External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]