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From car park to paradise: Hulme Community Garden Centre

Case study

Published
30th October 2020
Topic
Co-op development
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Hulme Community Garden Centre

Hulme Community Garden Centre is a charity owned by its community, employing nine local people and with a turnover of £300k per annum. When it wanted to grow its indoor space and social impact, the Community Shares Booster Programme was able to help. 

 

Hulme Community Garden Centre (HCGC) opened its doors back in 2000, converting an area of scrubland, and later a car park, into a public green space to encourage healthy living through gardening and sustainable food growing. 

It’s a place that brings the local community together by offering low-cost, ethically sourced plants. It also offers extensive volunteer and education programmes through gardening.

“People come to us for a whole variety of different reasons. They’re looking for something to be involved with, and to help them move on with their lives,” said Manager Rachel Summerscales (she has since left the organisation).

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What they get when they come to us is to be part of a team, to make new friends, to have a sense of purpose and to build confidence.
– Rachel Summerscales, former Manager of Hulme Community Garden Centre
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Hulme Community Garden Centre

The centre issued a share offer in 2019 to further develop the organisation – to make it financially more stable and better able to deliver its social impact. The aim was to:

  • Increase the amount of indoor space, to bring people together all year round – including a warm hub for volunteers, functional office space, new toilets and an improved cafe.
  • Make the site more accessible for everyone to enjoy the garden.
  • Secure sustainability and increase turnover by creating a bigger shop and boosting plant sales. 

The Community Shares Booster Programme supported this with a £8,200 development grant and £100,000 in matched funding. The share offer successfully raised £204,850 from 221 investors in 42 days.

Find out more about Community Shares and how they could help you.
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