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Funded by Power to Change and Access – the Foundation for Social Investment. In partnership with Locality

Community co-operates to save a local store: George Street Community Bookshop

Case study

30th October 2020
Co-op development
George Street Community Bookshop

George Street Community Bookshop in Glossop, Derbyshire, was established by a small group of friends in 2018 to help save the local second-hand bookshop. It’s now run as a co-operative, staffed by one employee and a team of volunteers.

To raise funds for the lease and re-design of the shop to make it more accessible, the co‑operative ran a share offer from November to December 2018. They raised £25,150 from 126 investors from the local community and beyond. The Community Shares Booster Programme matched that amount pound for pound, allowing the group to raise a total of £50,000, their maximum target. Director Jonathan Atkinson said: 

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It’s been such a positive experience working with Booster. The flexibility and freedom of the Booster Programme is great.
– Jonathan Atkinson, Director, George Street Community Bookshop

How did they do it? 

When the local second-hand bookshop was going to close, a group of residents got together to see if they could keep it going. They wanted it to be run by the community, for the community. So they launched a quick Crowdfunder campaign, raising £2,000 to cover start-up costs and begin business planning. They also ran public meetings to gauge the level of interest from the community.

A development grant from the Community Shares Booster Programme helped them prepare for the share offer and gain the Community Shares Standard Mark (a mark of a good quality share offer before designed to promote public confidence in community shares).

George Street Community Bookshop
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The advice and support from the consultants were really useful. It was reassuring to have the Standard Mark kite mark and the match funding was absolutely brilliant as it makes a really good sell to investors.
– Jonathan Atkinson

“We raised the money we needed quicker and we raised more through community shares than we would’ve done via a loan. It’s great having all these members having a stake. They will be customers as well as members,” said Jonathan. 

Find out more about George Street Community Bookshop: 

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Want to know more about Community Shares?
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