PRESS RELEASE: Stokes Croft Land Trust Launches First Community Share Offer

  • Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) first ever community share offer now open on Fundsurfer platform
  • The Land Trust is looking to raise a minimum of £272,000 to purchase commercial buildings in Stokes Croft, Bristol with a projected 3% return*
  • The properties will be transferred into community ownership safeguarding the assets from developers
  • The minimum investment is £100, with a special £10 entry level for residents in three neighbouring BS postcodes, up to a maximum of £34,500

Today, Thursday 25th November 2021, Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) has launched its first ever community share offer with a minimum target raise of £272,000 and a projected 3% return for investors. The share offer will fund the purchase of 17 -25 Jamaica Street and 14 Hillgrove Street, known as the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC), transferring the buildings into community ownership. The move will safeguard community assets in Stokes Croft from additional private sector property development and gentrification of the area. Working with Bristol-based investment platform, Fundsurfer, the Land Trust has set the minimum investment at £100 with residents in three Bristol postcodes, BS1 3**, BS6 5** and BS2 8**, able to back from as little as £10.

Currently owned by Angel Investors, the sale of the properties has been agreed at the 2013 purchase price to the Land Trust although a recent valuation report states the properties are now valued at £450,000.  In developing this commercial model, the Land Trust has acted to stop the gentrification of Stokes Croft caused by property developers and corporate businesses moving in to pursue profit, threatening the very culture that makes Stokes Croft attractive. The Land Trust will take control of the land, making community ownership, as opposed to private, the norm for the area providing social benefit and value to all who live in and enjoy Stokes Croft regardless of background and wealth both now and in the future. 

The anchor tenant, PRSC, will continue to use the buildings as PRSC HQ , once the purchase has been completed. The Land Trust is a Charitable Community Benefit Society – a membership based organisation – registered with the FCA.  All new investors will automatically become members with voting rights, giving equal say, alongside the other members, on what the Land Trust does next.

Speaking about the launch, Land Trust board member Keith Cowling said:

“We need you. This is our first project but we are aiming to buy more. We have developed this opportunity so that you can join, reap the benefits directly and for our city. And in doing so, you are actively helping us to preserve not only buildings but our unique culture, social enjoyment, the sense of belonging and the future opportunities for creativity and progress which Stokes Croft is well known for. This is critical to our city. We are already witnessing the slow erosion of the Stokes Croft identity with the redevelopment of Carriageworks and this must stop. You can easily be part of that. Join us today.”

The community share offer launch coincides with the opening of a city-focused exhibition providing a spotlight on PRSC’s history, Stokes Croft battles that have been won and lost, Community Wealth Building information as well as an area to find out more about the share offer and opportunities to back on the spot. A series of events are planned during November and December including an evening with Bristol Community Land Trust to discuss gentrification, a talk on Community Wealth Building plus a Land Justice Film Night.

Supporting the community share offer, local Co-operative & Social Enterprise Development Worker, Hilary Sudbury said:

“Raising capital to buy or safeguard community assets through a community share offer is bringing the power of collective action into play.  Buy shares, become a member and have your say in the organisation thereafter. 

Bristol has seen successful community share offers from Bristol Energy Co-operative (renewable energy assets), Bristol Community Ferries (the iconic blue and yellow harbour ferries) and The Exchange (music venue).  Further afield, successful community shares initiatives include Komedia & The Bell Inn, both of whom successfully bought their premises in Bath, and Clevedon Pier, Clevedon Community Bookshop and Low Carbon Gordano (renewable energy) have led the way in North Somerset.”

Investment to the community share offer is through Fundsurfer – please read the share offer document before investing. To find out more about the Stokes Croft Land Trust, subscribe directly to their mailing list here.

* Any money you invest in community shares is fully at risk. Community share offers are exempt from, or outside the scope of, statutory regulations that apply to the public offer of shares and other financial promotions. Applicants have no recourse to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, or the Financial Ombudsman Service.

PRESS RELEASE: Stokes Croft Land Trust to Launch Community Share Offer with Evening of Music and Talks

  • Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) will be launching their first ever Community Share Offer on 25th November
  • The event, held at People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) Space, kicks off the opening of the history of PRSC exhibition 
  • Immigrant Jam, part of the Immigrant Swing family, will be performing with Keith Cowling delivering a talk about the Land Trust’s ambitions for the city
  • Entry is free with more information at https://prsc.org.uk/event/stokes-croft-land-trust-launch-party

Today, Wednesday 17th November 2021, Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) has announced a series of events kicking off with an evening of music and talks on Thursday 25th November at the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) Space in Stokes Croft. The evening heralds the launch of its first ever Community Share Offer to purchase 17 -25 Jamaica Street and 14 Hillgrove Street to transfer the building into community ownership. The event also sees the start of an exhibition exploring land justice, community ownership and the ongoing fight against gentrification. Anyone interested in supporting the Land Trust and finding out more about community assets and community ownership is invited to come along. 

The Land Trust aims to raise a minimum of £272,000 via the Fundsurfer crowdfunding platform in community shares on which they aim to deliver a return of up to 3% per annum (capital is at risk). The funds will be used to transfer the current PRSC HQ building in the heart of Stokes Croft into community ownership as an alternative form of land ownership with long term value for the city. The decision for investment and acquisition comes off the back of the growing trend for gentrification and absorption of vital and iconic community buildings into the hands of property developers such as Carriageworks. The Land Trust is ambitious in their vision to acquire a number of properties for community ownership to protect and preserve key city features, the communities within and social value for current and future generations of Bristolians.

Launching on 25th November with a vibrant event at The PRSC Space, will see a performance from local band Immigrant Jam, from the Immigrant Swing family of high energy, foot stomping, global fusion. Keith Cowling, SCLT board member, will deliver an insightful, punchy talk about why the Land Trust is conducting a community share offer, the importance of transferring vital, local buildings into community ownership to avoid ubiquitous property development, for the benefit of everyone who lives and interacts with the city. The launch also marks the opening of a city-focused exhibition providing a spotlight on PRSC’s history, Stokes Croft battles that have been won and lost, Community Wealth Building information as well as an area to find out more about the share offer and opportunities to back on the spot.

Commenting on the community share offer, board member Keith Cowling said:

“Now is the right time for us to act. Land and buildings are being rapidly consumed by the private sector to maintain the churn of property development and this is at the expense of the broader community, often pushing the people that we serve out on the periphery. Bristol has a unique history, a fantastic community spirit and an attitude to doing things differently. That’s why we believe our community share offer presents an opportunity to support what our city is all about. We’ve structured it so that all Bristolians and those beyond our city with an interest in city-based community ownerships can get involved and invest. Come and join us on 25th November to find out more.”

Local Co-operative & Social Enterprise development worker, Hilary Sudbury said:

“Many great initiatives in Bristol and the wider West of England area have raised the capital via community shares to buy community assets and manage them collectively, from pubs and music venues to ferries, bookshops, piers, supporters clubs and renewable energy.”

To find out more about the Stokes Croft Land Trust community share offer, subscribe directly to their mailing list here or attend the event and enjoy an evening of good music and conviviality. 

Launch Events for the SCLT Community Share Offer

The inaugural community share offer from Stokes Croft Land Trust opens on Thursday 25 November 2021, with a launch party at The PRSC Space. Join us from 6pm for an amazing night of music, talks and community love, featuring Immigrant Jam (from the Immigrant Swing family) and a talk from Keith Cowling on the importance of transferring vital, local buildings into community ownership, as well as the opportunity to buy shares then & there.

The evening also marks the opening of an exhibition exploring land justice, community ownership and the ongoing fight against gentrification. Visitors are welcome from 12-6pm every day, from Friday 26 November to Sunday 5 December. A series of evening events, talks and movie screenings will be running alongside this exhibition, keep your eyes peeled for more information.

Both the Launch Party and the exhibition are free entry, and open to all – see you there!

Call on the Treasury for a greater Right to Roam

The Right to Roam campaign have discovered that the Treasury has commissioned a Minister, Lord Agnew, to lead a new review into access to nature, looking for “radical, joined up thinking” to achieve a “quantum shift in how our society supports people to access and engage with the outdoors”. Now they need lots of you to call on the Treasury for a greater Right to Roam, by emailing Lord Agnew using their template letter below. Find out more & get the letter »

Westmoreland House Memorial Print

stokes croft land trust westmoreland house memorial print limited edition object000 prsc bristol burning candy

The Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft would like to invite you to the launch of a very special poster. In celebration of the history of the Bristol alternative icon that is Westmoreland House, a series of limited edition, hand finished screen prints, is to be launched on Saturday 10th November, 2018. This print is the first step in helping Stokes Croft take back control from the forces of gentrification, as the money raised from sales of the print will help fund the early stages of setting up Stokes Croft Land Trust.

The ‘In Loving Memory – Westmoreland House’ limited edition screen print – drawn by Bristol artist object…  and printed in Stokes Croft by the PRSC, – depicts many aspects of the building’s history and use since its abandonment, and parts of many of the layers of graffiti which have built up on its walls.

As we look to the future, the replacement of Westmoreland House with a brand new development is itself representative of the gentrification of the area, and pushing out of the creative energy that made Stokes Croft one of the ‘trendiest places to live in the UK.’ The setting up of a land trust, to safeguard buildings and land that are community assets, is the only way we can see to hold back the tide of gentrification. Shares in Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) would be issued to the community, and all property it held in trust would be protected for the benefit of the community in perpetuity. Money made from sales of these prints will help with the initial stages of creating the SCLT, allowing people to work on creating the necessary infrastructure to get it off the ground.

Buy something beautiful and help Stokes Croft stay Stokes Croft.

More coming soon… watch this space!