Blog article

Communities Week: One in four people would help save or run a community building or space

A recent survey1, run by YouGov on behalf of Co‑operatives UK, reveals that almost one in four people would help save or run a local community pub, park public space, or historical site, whilst one in five would do so for a local cinema or theatre.

We’ve worked with a whole raft of communities across the UK – many using community shares as a way to save a much‑loved building or local space. Community shares are unique to co‑operative and community benefit societies, allowing them to crowdfund and reward investors with the chance to become part owners and have a say in the future of the organisation.

As we celebrate Communities Week, the 100th Community Shares Standard Mark has been issued – the ‘rubberstamp’ given to community share offers that meet national standards of good practice.  Read about four communities doing great things across the UK…

This summer, The Thorold Arms in Marston was saved from being lost forever as a vital community pub and shop. First closing in 2015, the pub was initially purchased by developers but attempts to get approval to change its purpose to residential use were thwarted by the Save The Thorold Arms campaign. The group have since managed to convince developers to sell the pub to them and raised £210,000 worth of investment to do so. They achieved this through a mix of grant funding – including via Plunkett Foundation’s More Than A Pub programme – as well as through a community share offer. In total, £214,383 was raised and The Thorold Arms will re‑open as a Pub, Café, Shop and B&B in December 2018. Find out more...

Jubilee Field is a much‑loved 3.5 acre wild natural space in the heart of two villages in Northamptonshire. The area was at risk of being lost to housing developments until residents stepped in – forming the Friends of Jubilee Field to lobby the local council to ensure it was protected due to its ‘community value’. Since then, the group has set up a Community Benefit Society which has allowed them to launch a share offer to raise funds of £75,000 to buy Jubilee Field. They now have the backing and plans aplenty to develop the fields into a thriving space for the local community. Find out more...

Nenthead is a remote village high in the North Pennines. Once an important industrial centre, since the closure of its lead mines in the 1960s the village has struggled. In recent years, locals have come together to find a way to reconnect residents with the village’s unique heritage – as well as with each other. To do this, they have focused their efforts on working to save and conserve an important historic building – Nenthead Chapel. They launched a share offer, raising £30,000, as well as securing grants and funding to restore the chapel and turn it into a community‑run cafe, information and tourism hub as well as a cycling activity centre. Find out more...

In the nine years since the Komedia Bath arts venue opened it has welcomed upwards of 750,000 individuals to experience world class music, comedy, film and more. Last year, recognising its vital role in Bath’s thriving arts community, the venue decided to start the journey to become community‑owned. Why? To protect the future of the venue and to keep the city laughing, dancing, and discovering bands and comics for years to come. A crowdfunder exceeded its £350,000 target in late 2017, which will enable Komedia Bath to deliver a popular, inclusive and broad events programme for many, many years to come. It will also offer a creative space for community projects to meet, practice, perform and network with each other. Find out more...


1 About the survey

The survey, run by YouGov on behalf of Co‑operatives UK, indicated:

  • 23% would be likely to invest to help save their local pub from closure
  • Respondents 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%)
Written by Leila O'Sullivan
Updated: 13/09/2018