Press release

Communities Week: Milestone 100th accredited community share offer

Suffolk‑based charity benefiting people with life‑limiting conditions receives 100th Community Shares Standard Mark for its upcoming share offer.

To date, community share offers have raised over £100m to support 350 community businesses across the UK.

New YouGov survey findings released during Communities Week (10‑14 September) reveals one in four people would invest money or time to help save local community assets.

Eden‑Rose Community Limited, is the 100th organisation to receive the ‘rubberstamp’ given to community share offers that meet national standards of good practice.  The Suffolk‑based charity aims to raise £80,000 from the local community to support its mission to use woodlands and the natural environment as a way to provide support to children and adults with life‑limiting illnesses, such as cancer.

This significant milestone is reached during Communities Week (10‑14 September), and coincides with new survey findings which indicate that one in four people would invest money or time to help save or run a local community asset such as a pub, park or cultural site.

The survey1, run by YouGov on behalf of Co‑operatives UK, reveals:

23% would be likely to invest to help save their local pub from closure, and they would give time and energy to help run other local assets such as a local park or public space (25%), historical site or building (24%), or cinema or theatre (16%).

The Community Shares Standard Mark, launched in 2015, was developed by the Community Shares Unit, run by Co‑operatives UK and Locality, with early support from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to assess and certify the quality and viability of share offers. Since 2009, almost 120,000 people across the UK have raised more than £100 million through community shares to save or create 350 local assets.

Community shares are a way for communities to crowdfund to save or launch enterprises, such as pubs or renewable energy projects, by investing often small sums of money and becoming co‑owners in the process.

‘Community shares’ are a type of withdrawable share capital unique to co‑operative and community benefit societies. This type of share capital can only be issued by co‑operative societies, community benefit societies and charitable community benefit societies.

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co‑operatives UK, the network for Britain’s thousands of co‑operatives, said:

“It’s so inspiring to see communities responding in such a proactive way to the challenges they face, and using community share offers to achieve their dreams. As well as helping to save and develop local assets, community shareholders become co‑owners with an equal say in how the enterprise is run. We encourage other communities to be inspired by the likes of Eden‑Rose Community Limited. The support is out there – what can your community achieve together?”

Jo Brookes from Eden-Rose Community Limited said:

“We’re thrilled to find out that our forthcoming share offer received the 100th Standard Mark. Going through the Standard Mark process was crucial for our organisation as we develop out our community business offer to actively complement the front‑line work of our charity.”

Eden‑Rose Community Limited is also receiving support from the Booster Programme, another scheme run by the Community Shares unit and backed by Power to Change. The Booster Programme provides development grants of up to £10k and invests equity of up to £100,000 to match community shares in societies that can demonstrate higher than average levels of community impact, innovation and engagement.

The YouGov survey follows on from the annual Co‑op Economy report2 released in June, which outlined an increased confidence in community share offers, with 70% of all share offers in 2017 being awarded the Standard Mark.

Communities wanting to find out more or who are considering community share offers should contact [email protected]

Data sources

1 YouGov survey carried out on behalf of Co‑operatives UK (7‑8 June 2018). Total sample size was 2,100 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th-8th June, 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
2 The Co‑op Economy Report published by Co‑operatives UK (June 2018).