Wessex Community Assets (WCA) is a community benefit society. Its overall aim is to help communities to become more resilient through access to land and finance.

WCA supports communities with technical advice and mentoring to develop and take on community owned assets; carries out research in the sector; supports communities to select the most appropriate legal form (specialising in community benefit societies); and advises on raising finance through issuing community shares for projects with social benefit.

Our key achievements

People in front of house looking happy
Photo: Lyme Online

Between 2006 and 2008 Wessex Community Assets carried out action research into the development and testing of new financial mechanisms for community asset investment. The result was the creation and testing of a model Community Benefit Society which is now used as standard by Community Land Trusts in Somerset, Dorset and Devon as a governing document, and more widely by community led projects nationally.

As a result of this work WCA played a key role in the upsurge in interest in community shares as a mechanism for raising finance locally, and participated in the expert reference panel leading to the establishment of the Community Shares Unit.

WCA has worked with the Community Shares Unit on two research projects since its establishment, the first was market research into community investors and the second an investigation into the relationship between CLTs and community shares.