People and their environment are better protected when they have control of their local land, enterprises and services.


Ecological Homes

Community Benefit Societies

Ecological Enterprise

Community-owned enterprises generate more resilient and adaptable societies, economies and environments.

  • Business plan development, guidance, and review.
  • Community share offer advice or full support.
  • Support to achieve the community shares standard mark.

Spinning straw into gold

As part of Wessex Community Asset’s work to develop the bioregional economy in SW England, we held a workshop on hemp fibre with 30 participants at our workspace in West Dorset. The process begins with separating (“decorticating”) the outer bast fibre from the woody core (the shiv), either manually with a hemp break or with our Hurdmaster decortication machine. The…

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Dominic Acland is the chair of WCA and has spent 30 years connecting people with nature and setting up social enterprises to do the same, especially through food and farming. As a community enterprise advisor, he aims to build resilient communities based on local, sustainable principles.

Dominic and the team have provided invaluable advice and support for our community enterprise with the development of our business plan and community share offer for our stores and café project

Dave Austin
Chairman of the Parracombe Community Trust

Ecological Homes

When communities have more control of housing and land, the local economy, natural and built environment and livelihoods are all improved.

  • Workshops and activities to roll out best practice and help tackle problems.
  • A research through action approach that drives policy change.
  • Partnership opportunities to create community-led housing.

Hemp Field Trials 

Raise the Roof is a project co-ordinated by WCA in partnership with the Arts Development Company Common Ground, Plymouth University, Turner-prize winning design collective Assemble, Bridport Area Community Housing, Bridport Town Council and Bridport Community Shed. Funders include the Friends Provident Foundation and Dorset AONB, which has supported work with local farmers on field trials of hemp, which can be…

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Tim Crabtree is a co-founder of WCA and has 20 years co-ordinating research and innovation in the field of community led housing. Through Raise the Roof, he’s currently seeking to change the way we build affordable housing.

Setting up a community land trust is daunting. WCA’s support has really helped to simplify and clarify what we need to do.

Phyllida Culpin
Yarlington Housing Group

Community Benefit Societies

Community ownership changes the way communities live and work. Join over 125 community benefit societies that have been registered since 2007 using WCA’s model rules.

  • Model Community Benefit Society Rules approved by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Support to register and get your Society going.
  • Learning opportunities to support good governance.

The rise of the Community Benefit Society

One important task of setting up a new community enterprise is selecting the right legal structure that will work for your business.  Its easy to get lost in a maze of terminology and options. In this blog Diana provides a little of the history of the Community Benefit Society and explains why it is the legal structure of choice for…

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Diana Moore runs WCA’s society registration service and is a fully-licensed Community Shares Practitioner. Diana has 25 years working with community benefit societies, social enterprises and charities, training as a building surveyor, and a passion for social and environmental justice.

I’m really not sure how we would have managed to amend and update our constitution without Wessex Community Assets’ – and in particular Diana Moore’s – help. Thank you!

Martin Long
SOS Frome


Wessex Community Assets is a Community Benefit Society, governed by a board of directors, and driven by our theory of change. You can explore our theory of change in the diagram below.