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Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust

Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust

£500 minimum

Open investment offers are subject to changes and updates as the project progresses.

Check back with this tab to find the latest project update.

Latest update: 17.12.2018

Update: 17.12.2018 - Extension of offer

Below is a copy of a letter from the Somerset CLT team, updating on the share offer and an extension.

A further – and final - share offer extension

Dear friend,

We’ve done it. Or, at least, we’ve done part of it – we have met our minimum target and we can now go ahead and buy 11A East Reach which opens the way to a planning application for as many as six new, ecologically designed flats.

I can’t tell you how excited we all are, and I’m looking forward to welcoming the sitting tenants at 11A into our little community. It’s a modest building in itself, but it opens the door to some very exciting developments in the near future – which you will certainly hear about.

But we aren’t finished with the share issue. The other part of the plan was to acquire the land at South Street, and we are acutely aware that this now hangs in the balance. We need more equity – about another £40,000 – and also more loan finance (though I am pleased to say that the Community Land Trust Fund, managed by CAF Venturesome, does seem to have exactly what we need).

That’s to say nothing of our desire to allow a little ‘churn’ in our shares. We will always want to allow withdrawals of share capital (within sensible limits) and for some years now we have been unable to do so. After acquiring new property, having the liquidity to release long standing investments is a high priority. After all, if we treat our earliest investors well, it encourages them to consider further social investments in the future.

So, one more extension of the share offer seems inevitable – until January 31st 2019. We can’t rest on our laurels – the campaign so far has reminded us that while we can produce endless documents, we have not documented our achievements well with photogrpahs or video. Over the Christmas period, we’re going to try and remedy that. By putting a human face on what we are doing we hope to encourage more people to put their faith in us.

I’d like to take this chance to wish you all a very Happy Christmas (it certainly is for us) and encourage you to spread the word about what we are doing and our vision of a sustainable community providing self-managed homes, work and urban environment. Perhaps your own community needs a CLT like ours!

Yours sincerely,

Alex Lawrie
Secretary, SCCLT

Update: 30.11.2018 - Extension of offer

Below is a copy of a letter from the Somerset CLT team explaining the reason for their receent extension and impact on the remainder of the investment offer.

Share offer extension

Dear friend,

It has been an intense and exciting couple of months as we race to raise the funds we need to acquire our second and third properties. While the existing planning permission assures us of a further four residential units and one commercial, their significance is much greater than this: they open the door to as many as eight more affordable flats, as well as allowing us to approach future developments from a position of profitability.

The local support has been amazing: on social media, visitors to our ‘Co-op Hub’, and coverage in the local press and on the radio. Because it is not just about cheap housing – tenant management, sustainable lifestyles, co-operative employment and renewable energy are equally important to us – we seem to have motivated people to get behind our vision.

In just seven weeks, we have raised a little over £120,000. That is amazing – but it’s also not enough.

Our minimum target is £187,500. If we don’t raise that, we can’t proceed at all. We are working with our lenders to see if there are affordable loans that we can substitute for some of the equity, but we just can’t close the share offer now.

We also have to respect the patience that the property owners have shown us. While there is some real appreciation for what we do, for some people it is just a commercial transaction, and they need to be persuaded that we are a credible buyer. Time is running short.

We have decided to extend the share offer to December 15th. Not only do we intend to reach our minimum target by then, we want to go well beyond it. If we have more equity behind us, our ability to finance more ecological innovations (building integrated solar; heat reclaiming ventilation; rooftop aquaponic growing) will be much enhanced. These are not mere eco-bling – they are investments which cut our costs and generate revenue in the future, further strengthening our cash flow and balance sheet.

Please use the next two weeks to help us spread the word about what we’re trying to do; if we succeed in Taunton there is no doubt that co-operative communities like this could emerge all over the country.

Yours sincerely,

 

Alex Lawrie
Secretary, SCCLT

£194,04955%
Applied for to date, of
£350,000 target

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