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:
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).
“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: