Community Shares Event
A free event aimed at encouraging Cumbrian social enterprises and co-operatives to raise money using community shares took place on Wednesday 28 March at the Penrith Players Theatre.
The day-long event was organised by the Alston-based community broadband co-operative Cybermoor on behalf of Social Enterprise North West.
Social entrepreneurs who have successfully raised finance this way shared their experiences; and participants benefited from first hand practical advice on how to set up a community share offer, drive take-up, the pitfalls to avoid and the administration involved.
Daniel Heery, Project Manager at Cybermoor Networks said:“It was a great event with brilliant case studies from Peter Maher on the Ennerdale Hub, Vida Hedley from Kendal’s Fellside Centre and Julian Ross from the Old Crown in Heskett Newmarket. There was a real buzz with lots of new ideas.”
If you weren't able to attend the event and would like more information, you may find some of the links below useful:
Some examples of Community Share Schemes in Cumbria include:
Baywind Renewable Energy, Barrow in Furness: Raised £2m through share offers between 1996-99 to buy wind turbines at two wind farms in Cumbria. Baywind was the first UK co-operative to own wind turbines and has 1,300 share-holders.
The Old Crown pub and brewery, Hesket Newmarket: Britain’s first co-operatively owned pub. In 2002 58 people clubbed together to buy the micro-brewery. In 2003 another co-op of 125 members raised finance via community shares to buy the pub.
Nenthead Community Shop, North Pennines: After the post office and last shop in the village closed in 2006, over 100 residents bought community shares at £10 each to raise £9k. This money was used to re-open the shop and post office in November 2007.
Fox & Hounds Inn, Ennerdale: A community share offer raised £82,250 from 174 local investors. The pub opened in April 2011 after villagers purchased and renovated it in just six weeks.