Launch of New Community Shares Support Programme
A new community shares programme enabling communities to invest in their own futures is being launched today (27 May) in Perth. Community Shares Scotland will raise awareness and provide information and support, to enable more communities from across Scotland to use this form of social finance to create local services and facilities.
Community Shares Scotland is being delivered by a consortium led by Development Trust Association Scotland, partnered by the Plunkett Foundation, Co-ops UK and Rocket Science. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Carnegie UK Trust.
Over recent months, communities in Balerno, Edinburgh and Mull have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund vital local projects. The launch of Community Shares Scotland, a national three year programme, will mean that many more groups will now be able to follow in their footsteps.
Ian Cooke, DTA Scotland Director said, “Community shares provide a way for individuals and organisations to invest in key projects, helping bring them to fruition. Over the last few years community share issues have increasingly been used to fund renewable energy projects, take over shops and pubs, and save important heritage assets. No matter how much is invested, whether it is £50 or £10,000, each investor has an equal vote in the development and running of the project. So, in addition to raising finance, successful community shares issues can also help demonstrate community buy-in to other potential funders and stakeholders.”
Jackie Killeen, Director, Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Community Shares Scotland to help local communities unlock the potential of community shares to fund new services that matter to them. Giving all communities the support they need to utilise this form of finance will, we believe, not only create new local enterprises but also bring communities together in the process.”
Community Shares Scotland will offer a one-stop-shop to signpost communities, investors and other interested parties to advice and assistance to develop new share offers and support existing ones. The programme will also offer direct support to those community organisations undertaking community share issues and identify and promote best practice.
A series of Community Shares roadshows will be taking place across Scotland providing local groups with more information about community shares and how to get involved. The first of these will take place at Salutation Hotel, Perth at 1:30 pm on 27 May.
More details about the programme www.communitysharesscotland.org.uk