PRESS RELEASE: Is community land ownership a feasible option? Stokes Croft Land Trust exhibition provides the details

  • The Stokes Croft Land Trust’s latest exhibition will explore the importance of community ownership of local land and buildings. 
  • The exhibition, held at The Vestibules, City Hall, College Green, will allow attendees to learn more about the campaign to purchase the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft building.
  • Entry is free and more information is available at https://prsc.org.uk/event/sclt-vestibules-exhibition/ 
  • The Land Trust has currently raised over £170,000 of its £272,000 minimum target, with more than 220 investors so far. 

Today, (31st January, 2022), the Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) has announced a new exhibition exploring community land ownership, taking place from 8th to 11th February at The Vestibules, City Hall, College Green. The free exhibition will explain the important role and history of community land trusts, whilst also allowing people to meet members of the project’s board. Since launching their community land ownership campaign to purchase PRSC HQ on 25th November, 2021, SCLT has amassed more than 220 investors, raising over £170,000 of its £272,000 minimum target.

The four-day showcase will give people the chance to learn and be part of an important, democratic and new economic system for land ownership. The exhibition will further highlight the community wealth-building plans afoot in Stokes Croft, which can be replicable in other areas nationally. Within Bristol, there are many examples of co-ops and community-led organisations such as Cube Microplex, Bristol Ferries and the Exchange that have secured & run valued community assets and services.  The exhibition will also delve into the progress of community land trusts, detailing its origins in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement by black and farming communities in North America and its exponential growth ever since. 

Part of the Land Trust’s mission is, by transferring land into community ownership, to remove it from the open market and property speculation. Developing existing buildings, which is cheaper but as effective as demolition and rebuild, enables long-term affordable and sustainable local development. With a successful community share offer, Stokes Croft Land Trust will secure a prominent arts facility, home to PRSC HQ, in the city.  When people invest, they become members of Stokes Croft Land Trust with equal voting rights alongside other members in the Land Trust’s next steps. The project also aims to deliver a return of up to 3% per annum, however, any money invested is fully at risk. 

Keith Cowling, Director at the Stokes Croft Land Trust, commented:

“As a city, Bristol has seen numerous changes to local land and buildings over the past decade, however, its community spirit continues to thrive. Through our campaign, the Stokes Croft Land Trust will give people a place to support local businesses and communities and this will start with the purchase of the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft building. For those that want to be part of our community initiative to secure the land and buildings in Bristol, come down to our exhibition to learn more about why community ownership really matters.”

Hilary Sudbury, Local Co-operative & Social Enterprise Development Worker, said: 

“In light of the devastating impact of the pandemic, there is an appetite to support local projects to ensure our neighbourhoods remain welcoming, unique and full of character. The Stokes Croft Land Trust follows in the footsteps of similar initiatives across the Bristol, Bath and the wider West of England area and we are raising capital through community shares to create a new model for the ownership of land and buildings. Our exhibition will bring to life the Land Trust’s ambitious vision, giving attendees a flavour of community ownership and the power of collective action.”

The exhibition is open from 12 pm to 7 pm Tuesday 8th to Thursday 10th February, and from 12 pm to 5 pm on Friday 11th February. 

Alongside the exhibition, people interested in community ownership are invited to join the upcoming ‘Meet the Board’ event where participants can share their vision for Stokes Croft and Bristol in the face of rapid development. The virtual event, taking place Tuesday 15th February from 7 pm – 8 pm, will also give people the chance to explain how they feel the project should further evolve. 

To learn more about the Stokes Croft Land Trust’s community share offer campaign, visit their Fundsurfer page, subscribe to their mailing list, or visit the upcoming exhibition


For all press enquiries and interviews, please contact Simon Stone, PR and Marketing Executive at OggaDoon on 07519 986237 or email simon@oggadoon.co.uk

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