Stokes Croft Land Trust launches first community share offer
Stokes Croft Land Trust (SCLT) launched its first community share offer with a minimum target raise of £272,000 and a projected 3% return for investors on November 25.
The campaign will fund the purchase of 17-25 Jamaica Street and 14 Hillgrove Street, otherwise known as the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft HQ (PRSC HQ), to transfer the buildings into community ownership and remove them into the Trust and away from market forces and property speculation. The organisation is working with the Bristol-based investment platform Fundsurfer, and it 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. As of December 9, the organisation has reached almost £150,000 of its target, with around 150 investors.
The building is currently owned by Angel Investors and the sale of the properties has been agreed at their 2013 purchase price to the Land Trust, although a recent valuation report states that the properties are now valued at £450,000. The organisation is aiming to create a new model of community ownership within Stokes Croft, with the aim to purchase more land and buildings in the future. Community ownership will provide the opportunity for sustainable development and development using the existing building structures as far as possible. This is now widely recognised as a better solution than demolition and rebuilding, which also inevitably leads to higher rent or property prices and a hefty profit going to the developers and not for community benefit.
Once the purchase is complete, PRSC will remain the anchor tenant with a fully insuring and repairing lease. The Land Trust is a Charitable Community Benefit Society - a membership-based democratic organisation - registered with the FCA. All investors will automatically become members with voting rights, giving equal say, alongside the other members, on the activities and strategic direction of the Land Trust.
Keith Cowling, Director at the Stokes Croft Land Trust, said: “The Stokes Croft Land Trust will help us to preserve buildings and land so that they benefit local people and businesses. In just two weeks, we have already made significant progress towards our target and we can’t thank our current investors enough. However, we need to keep this momentum going to ensure that we can make a difference to our city and everyone who lives within it. If you are interested, please do help us on our mission to create a better future for Stokes Croft and Bristol as a whole.”
Hilary Sudbury, Board Member at the Stokes Croft Land Trust, commented: “Our current success shows that there is an appetite for community owned spaces, for and run by the community. We’re following in the footsteps of other local community share offers from Bristol Energy Co-operative, Bristol Community Ferries, and the Exchange to name just a few. Together, we can help retain the vibrant character of the Stokes Croft area to ensure that it remains an attractive, affordable and unique part of our city.”
In December, the community share offer was awarded the Community Shares Standard Mark, which is given to share offers that meet the national standards of good practice. Investment for the community share offer is through the Fundsurfer platform. For those interested in investing, please read the share offer document beforehand.*
* Whilst this is an asset backed investment, 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.
To find out more see the Fundsurfer page: www.fundsurfer.com/community-share/stokes-croft-land-trust