Community Enterprises

Helping communities secure local value

We provide new groups with advice on governance and support to register a community benefit society. Once that’s done, or if a society already exists, the next step is to look at the business plan for the project, help you shape it and make sure that it’s fit for purpose; and finally we advise on the share offer document and community engagement plan that flow from the business plan.

Our role is to act as advisors and mentors, helping societies make the best decisions and giving their share offer the best chance of success.

Please contact us to discuss your community’s idea / project and explore how we can help make it a reality!

From April 2018 to September 2020 our Community Enterprise project, funded by the Barrow-Cadbury Trust Connect Fund, supported 13 different community enterprises to get established, or to expand, and to launch a share offer.

The enterprises we supported through the project were:

  • Somerset Local Food Ltd
  • Parracombe Community Trust
  • Marshwood Village Shop
  • Sixpenny Handley Community Land Trust
  • Tinker’s Bubble
  • Exeter Local Food Ltd
  • Queen Camel Community Land Trust
  • New Prosperity Devon
  • Treelines
  • Dorset Woodhub
  • Trill Farm
  • Exeter Observer
  • Stoke sub Hamdon Community Shop

Community Shares are used by many community benefit societies to raise the funds, or part of the funds, that they need to launch their enterprise. Issuing community shares is an increasingly popular choice for this purpose and is only available to community benefit societies or cooperative societies. A report Understanding a maturing community shares market published in October 2020 by Co-ops UK found that since 2012 over £155m has been invested in community shares by over 104,000 people in 440 different societies, 92% of which are still trading!

For more information

Please contact Dominic Acland.

You can email or telephone 07527 275 466.

Parracombe Pavilion
The pavilion on the Coronation Playing Fields, Parracombe.

Parracombe Community Trust

In November 2017 the village of Parracombe, in Exmoor National Park, lost its village shop and post office when the proprietors of the shop retired. People in the village came together to form a community benefit society that aims to establish a shop in new premises as well as manage the village hall and provide affordable housing for Parracombe residents. Our Wessex CLT Project is helping them with the latter, and the Community Enterprise project helped them with their plans for the shop. We supported them in writing their business plan, developing their share offer and securing the Community Shares Standard Mark, a national accreditation mark for their share offer.

The PCT’s share offer closed in October 2020 having raised £62,000 from local investors. They also secured match funding from the Power to Change Community Shares Booster Fund and so raised a total of £124,000. The PCT is using this to lease and convert a sports pavilion on a popular area of open space in the village, creating a shop, post office and cafe, sourcing food from local growers as well as store cupboard essentials, and re-creating a much needed social and economic asset for the community.

With thanks to our funder, the Barrow-Cadbury Trust, through their Connect Fund.