We exchanged contracts on Friday, so the sale is now legally binding, and will be completed within the next two weeks.
This is the first piece of Stokes Croft that we’ve put in community ownership through the Stokes Croft Land Trust!
THANK YOU to everyone who made this possible!!
To our 400 members who invested their money, their trust and their hopes in this purchase, to Chris Chalkley and the other truly Angel investors who planted the seeds and nurtured the vision of the Land Trust, and did so much to support this transfer to the community, to the PRSC who bring this wonderful building to life, to the Board who have volunteered hundreds of hours to bring this purchase to completion, and thank you to everyone else who supported and believed in our vision.
We couldn’t have done it without this enormous, amazing community who love Stokes Croft and believe in the power of community.
This is a huge moment for us, and for Stokes Croft. With this building secured, we’re now making our dream a reality: pushing back against the threat of gentrification and corporate takeover of the area, and nurturing the diverse, cultural, rebellious, independent, creative, wonderful place of Stokes Croft.
This is just the beginning!

Stokes Croft Land Trust AGM and Afterparty!

It’s just one week until our 2023 AGM and afterparty!!

Come along to the PRSC building on Saturday next week for (potentially big) updates, join discussions with other members, ask questions, and shape the direction of your Land Trust. PLUS check out the exhibition of Stokes Croft and enjoy some live music, snacks and drinks!

When: 2pm, Saturday 16th September (Afterparty from 4pm)
Where: The Space, PRSC, 17-25 Jamaica Street, BS2 8JW

NB: The AGM from is for members only, so to get your ticket check your email for the ticket link.

SCLT Board Nominations Open!

We are currently inviting members to join the Stokes Croft Land Trust’s [SCLT] Board of Directors.  This is an exciting opportunity for members to get directly involved in helping shape strategies and projects for SCLT!
  • Would you like to actively contribute to the success of your Stokes Croft Land Trust?
  • Do you have knowledge, experience and commitment that you can bring to the table?
  • Would you like to join a group of lovely and lively volunteers who serve on the Board?
Then nominate yourself to join us!  The Board, consisting of volunteers, is responsible for managing the affairs of the society on behalf of the membership.  Directors report back to the membership at general meetings.  Any member of the Land Trust may nominate themselves for election to the Board, with a time commitment of approximately 5 hours a month.  The Board is particularly looking for people with experience related to fundraising, legal, communications, community organising, property management, people who reflect the local community of Stokes Croft, or have links with under-represented and marginalised groups in Bristol.
The Board meets regularly at various locations in and around Stokes Croft and Bristol, including here at the home of one of the Board members.  We also arrange for Zoom meetings for those who may not be always able attend some meetings in person.  We hope you will join us for tea, snacks and great discussions about the present and future of SCLT!

Nominations must be completed using the form available linked below. The deadline for submission is 23:59 on 31 July 2023.  Find out more here Find Our More .  Results of the election of Directors will be communicated to candidates and subsequently announced to members at the Annual General Meeting in September 2023.  We look forward to hearing from you! Apply Here

Update of Progress of Purchase of 17-25 Jamaica St

Further to our Board Meeting yesterday we’re happy to report that the Draft Contract Of Sale has now been received from the vendors’ solicitors and all the relevant searches are in progress – so watch this space for news of a completion date for the purchase.

We will be holding our next AGM and a celebratory afternoon event and exhibition in September (provisional date Sat Sep 16th).

As well as celebrating our first purchase, the event will be an opportunity to explore ways members can participate in SCLT and the future of the Stokes Croft area. Thanks to everyone who has invested in this first exciting share offer – none of this would have been possible without you! 

Great news!

We are delighted to confirm that the recent share offer has been successful and we are currently in the process of purchasing our first building at Jamaica Street. 

Once the purchase is complete we will send out information and host a post purchase party to celebrate in September. Keep an eye on our events page for details. 

Stokes Croft Land Trust AGM

Mon 9 Jan, 2023 // 18:30 – 20:00 // Free // More info »
As a member of the Land Trust, we’d love for you to join us and other members for a drink, hear an update on the purchase, and have your say on what we should do next.

1. Introduction and welcome
2. Election of new Board Members
3. Treasurer’s report & resolution on audit (Annual Accounts to March 22)
4. Update on the Purchase of PRSC building
Member only session follows:
5. Future buildings, discussion on what should SCLT do next
6. AOB and Q&A

Please arrive from 6.15pm, as the AGM will start promptly at 6.30pm.

The bar will be open until 8pm for you to stay and chat with the Directors and other members about Stokes Croft.

Please register for the AGM so we can keep track of numbers!

We are currently looking into potential ways members and non-members can participate in the AGM without being present.

Minimum target reached! [Fundsurfer update]

We’ve got big news… We have reached our minimum target!

This is down to you, for your belief and your action which have helped us gain a significant social investment from Booster Fund managed by Co-operatives UK. With over 330 investors now amassed, we are energised to go for the maximum target of £345,000 by Tuesday 31st May 2022.

Please shout about this as loud as you can:

  • Share it on your social channels.
  • Tell your friends and family networks.
  • See if your workplace can make a charitable donation.
  • See if you can make another investment.

If you would like to stay up to date with our progress, please follow/ like us on Facebook and Twitter. If you have any other questions, email info@stokescroftlandtrust.org.

Many thanks, 

Keith Cowling
Stokes Croft Land Trust, Director

PRESS RELEASE: Stokes Croft Land Trust reaches minimum target to purchase landmark Bristol building

  • 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. 

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

PRESS RELEASE: Grassroots Bristol Arts Organisations Show Their Support for the Stokes Croft Land Trust

Invisible Circus Directors and Artspace Lifespace founders Wim Penhaul and Doug Francis urge other arts organisations to get behind the campaign 

The Invisible Circus CIC and Artspace Lifespace CIO have committed £1000 each to support the Stokes Croft Land Trust’s purchase of 17-25 Jamaica St, Stokes Croft, which is home to the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft HQ. Active in Stokes Croft for 15 years, the Stokes Croft Land Trust’s first priority is to secure the future of PRSC. 

In 2006 Artspace Lifespace took in its first site in Bristol, the former Audi Garage site on Cheltenham Road which had been empty for over five years and fallen into a serious state of disrepair. This multi-level car garages complex became a multi arts venue and housed the epic Invisible Circus site specific promenade performance ‘The Road To Nowhere’.

Invisible Circus Director and Artspace Lifespace founder Wim Penhaul said “As time went by we became aware of this gentrification process, when we started out just wanting places to make art and bring communities together we were completely unaware of gentrification, and being a cog in a machine I guess of the way an area could change and become gentrified. The fundamental issue with gentrification is that investing money into areas is not a problem, what so often happens is the money that is invested doesn’t actually end up in the actual communities where it is”

“When I was asked to sit on the panel of the ‘Troops of Gentrification’ as part of the Futur Ville, my heart sank a little. Before we realised that we were a cog as Wim mentioned, empty spaces in Bristol had started to disappear and the flats were going up. We never got paid by anyone to be part of that cog or add value for developers onto properties. We came in, with innocent visions of providing affordable space to create and then were moved on when our purpose had been served.” said Invisible Circus Director & Artspace Founder Doug Francis.  

20 years ago Stokes Croft contained some of the most deprived, run-down parts of inner-city Bristol, but the cultural diversity of Stokes Croft has been cited in best place to live accolades Bristol has received over the past 10 years. Unsurprisingly some parts of Stokes Croft have seen gentrification and huge growth of building projects. Big, terraced homes have been subdivided as flats and the very cultural diversity that Bristol is known for is under threat. In 2018 Coexist and many artists sadly left Hamilton House due to rising rents, a quarter of a million pounds was spent on the clear up of the Bear Pit, and the  Tesco at the centre of two nights of rioting in 2011 was granted a licence to sell alcohol in 2021 and gates have been installed at The Carriageworks despite the developers ‘absolute promise’ that Westmoreland House would never become a gated-community.

Doug said “Stokes Croft is reaching a crisis point in its evolution and for me it feels a little bit symbolic of wider Bristol. We don’t want to see the renegade, revolutionary art of Bristol santitised as artists are pushed further afield to Weston-Super-Mare and Newport or do we as a city come together to keep independent art spaces alive.  Wim said “Stokes Croft is a case in point for the need for an urban commons in Bristol. Bristol needs independent venues like PRSC that aren’t afraid to be loud and contentious or risk losing their funding. We’re super happy to be able to invest in it and we urge arts organisations across Bristol and the UK to sharing with their networks and also investing if they can” .

About Invisible Circus:

The Invisible Circus is a Community Interest Company (CIC). Based in the UK since 2002, the company’s ethos lies in its roots as a street performance troupe. Having spent the 1990s exploring Europe’s rich performance culture and embracing a rich tapestry of traditions, The Invisible Circus has grown up in arts festivals, street performances, carnivals and independent creation spaces.

About Artspace Lifespace:

Artspace Lifespace(ASLS)  is a Registered Charity (No: 1168150) that recycles vacant, under-used and problem properties into thriving creative resources.
We work in partnership with artists, building owners, property developers, local communities and organisations to secure and re-cycle interesting, unusual and often difficult buildings as vibrant multi-use art venues.

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

PRESS RELEASE: Gentrification and How to Resist It

Urban Geographer, Author and TEDx Speaker Professor Loretta Lees joins the Stokes Croft Land Trust to discuss the implication for us here in Stokes Croft.

Stokes Croft Land Trust welcomes Loretta Lees, urban geographer and professor of Human Geography at Leicester University to Bristol to People’s Republic of Stokes Croft to talk to us about gentrification and how to resist it. Known for her research on gentrification/urban regeneration, global urbanism, urban policy, urban public space, architecture and urban social theory. Loretta was identified as the 17th most referenced author in urban geography worldwide (Urban Studies, 2017) and the only woman in the top 20. 

Based in London for 25 years, Loretta has supported a number of communities on the receiving end of gentrification pressure, particularly the notorious Heygate Estate redevelopment in Southwark. Loretta will be talking about the experience of 50 years of gentrification around the world, how it has been resisted, and the implication for us here in Stokes Croft.

This rare opportunity to hear Loretta speak in Bristol will be held at PRSC HQ on Wed 23 March, 2022 between 18:00 – 19:30. Tickets to this event are FREE and available from Headfirst Bristol with walk-ins permitted subject to availability. 

This event has been organised by PRSC and the Stokes Croft Land Trust, a community-led charitable community benefit society, which exists to bring land and buildings in Stokes Croft into community ownership. The Stokes Croft Land Trust is providing an alternative way to own and manage land in Bristol with collective ownership by and for the community. The Stokes Croft Land Trust wants to initially bring the PRSC HQ in Stokes Croft into community ownership, safeguarding PRSC as the anchor tenant. £192,470 of the minimum share target of £272,000 has been raised so far. They are seeking to raise a maximum of £345,000 in share capital.  

Event Details

Date: Wed 23 March, 2022
Time: 18:00 – 19:30
Cost: Free
Tickets: https://hdfst.uk/E73175

Venue: SPACE at PRSC
17-25 Jamaica Street, Stokes Croft
Bristol, BS2 8JP

Phone: 0117 214 0029

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