Written by Chris Coates, a Director of LESS sharing what and who lies behind the LESS logo.

You may (or may not) have noticed a small blue and yellow logo that has appeared over the last decade or so. Discretely placed at the bottom of banners, posters, leaflets and webpages around the district. It has the sun rising from behind the word LESS followed by the words Promoting Sustainable Living. If you have clicked on a link, or chatted to someone on a nearby market stall, you might have discovered that it belonged to a small, but quietly dynamic organisation officially known as LESS (LANCASTER DISTRICT) Community Interest Company. Started back in 2007 with the aim of “providing practical support to help the residents of Lancaster and Morecambe to live more sustainably”. Over the years, the little organisation has brought into the district somewhere in the region of £1.75 million pounds worth of investment leading to the development of a home energy efficiency support service for households and the creation of a local food network.

So, what is LESS? Someone once said he saw us as the “Back office for ‘Cool Lancaster’!” Which might be overstating our impact – but actually not a bad description. From the beginning, one of the motivations was to be a properly constituted company that could carry out environmental projects; offer people employment, have all the right insurances etc to: run markets, create new growing spaces, give people advice, do research…

I should declare my interest at this point. I am a director of LESS and have been involved since the start to greater or lesser degrees. As the projects we have been involved in running have evolved, I’ve taken on different roles. In the first few years I took a bit of a backseat approach attending quarterly director’s meetings, reading board papers and leading the odd discussion at an annual away-day. At other times I’ve been more hands on; doing bits of work on projects, or helping out with admin now and then when things were busy or we were short-staffed. Some of the time I’ve seen my role as more strategic; scanning for future grant opportunities or bouncing ideas around with staff members to design a project proposal.

If any of this has sparked your interest, we are on the lookout for new directors with relevant business skills, or simply with an enthusiasm for the work we do.

For more info see: https://lessuk.org

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