- The Stokes Croft Land Trust has reached its minimum target of £272,000 to purchase the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft HQ in Bristol after significant investment from Booster Fund, managed by Co-operatives UK.
- Ahead of the final deadline on 31st May 2022, the Land Trust has reached over 330 investors and raised more than £278,000 so far.
- The Land Trust aims to transfer land and buildings in Stokes Croft into community ownership.
Today, (12th May, 2022), the Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) has announced that it has reached its minimum target of £272,000 to purchase the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft HQ in the heart of Bristol. This was made possible after SCLT received a significant investment of £75,000 from Booster Fund, managed by Co-operatives UK. With the final deadline of Tuesday 31st May approaching, the Land Trust is pushing to achieve its maximum target of £345,000 to reduce its reliance on alternative forms of finance. The campaign, which started in November 2021, has amassed over 330 investors so far and aims to transfer PRSC HQ into community ownership to help bring more social and economic value to people in and around Bristol.
With the money raised, the Land Trust will remove its first property from the open market and property speculation. It is hoping to replicate this going forwards with other buildings and land in the local area, which in turn will help to support local economic activity and enable locally-owned small enterprises to stay in Stokes Croft. This first building will safeguard a prominent arts, events and exhibition facility with additional workspace for local artists, designers and craftspeople including the Stokes Croft China’s manufacture and digital businesses.
Keith Cowling, Director at the Stokes Croft Land Trust, commented:
“It has been an exceptionally difficult time for people, businesses and communities across our city and this has been reflected in the need for more local spaces. We want to thank everyone who has already invested, helping to support and secure local buildings and land. With just under three weeks to go until our campaign ends, we are calling on all Bristolians to join in and help us to reach our maximum target of £345,000.”
Hilary Sudbury, Local Co-operative & Social Enterprise Development Worker, said:
“We have received an overwhelming response since our community share offer began in November last year and we’re proud to have met our minimum target. The collective power of the community can stem the loss of community assets and unique cultural areas that make our city distinct and different. There’s still time to make an investment, so if you would like to join us in our mission please do buy some shares.”
In recent years, Cube Microplex, Bristol Ferries and the Exchange have secured the future of and now run valued community assets and services showing the appetite for community-based projects. People and businesses who invest become members of the society, giving them equal voting rights and a say, alongside other members, in the future direction of the Land Trust. The project has a forecasted 3% return for investors, however, any money invested is fully at risk.
Since the campaign’s inception, the Land Trust has hosted events to raise awareness of its mission, kickstarting with an exhibition at the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft in November 2021 and later organising a showcase at the Vestibules at Bristol’s City Hall in February 2022. There has also been a talk by Professor Loretta Lees from Leicester University who has written a book on gentrification and is actively involved in supporting the fight against gentrification on some London estates. To find out more about SCLT’s community share offer campaign, visit their official Fundsurfer page or subscribe to their mailing list.
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