The Community Shares Booster Programme enabled Sutton Community Farm to build a much-needed new barn and build a larger membership to better engage the local community and widen their customer base.
Sutton Community Farm is a seven-acre community owned farm based on the edge of south London. It started in 2010 in response to a community need, with the purpose to increase access to fresh, local, healthy food and provide a shared space for people to cultivate skills, get exercise and make friends. Since then, the farm has become a thriving enterprise centred around its VegBox scheme, as well as a recognised and valuable community asset.
They joined the Booster pilot in 2016 and secured a development grant £10,000 to develop plans to build a much-needed new barn that would enable them to double the number of VegBox scheme customers they could deliver to each week and host increased numbers of volunteers and group visitors (schools, businesses and other partners).
They launched their share offer in March 2017, with a commitment of equity match from the Booster Programme. In just over two months they raised almost £100,000, with nearly £50,000 coming from the Booster match. Through the share offer they also increased their membership from 141 to 408, giving them the confidence that they had the backing of the community.