Sometimes just the offer of finance can make all the difference to a community trying to raise funds.
Last year a commitment by the Community Shares Fund to invest £50,000 if required gave the people of Belthorn in Lancashire the confidence to proceed with the purchase of The Dog Inn before the community share issue had reached its target.
As it happens the investment target was achieved soon after the purchase was agreed so the money from the Community Shares Fund was not drawn down. It remains in the fund to support other community share issues.
The Dog Inn, which is said to be the highest pub in Lancashire, and certainly the first under community ownership, reopened in November 2015, exactly a year after it closed.
You can read more about the Dog Inn and other ventures supported by the Community Shares Fund on www.communitysharesfund.coop/who-we’ve-helped
The Community Shares Fund is one of the surprising secrets of co-operative fund raising. Everyone who has used it thinks it’s wonderful and yet many communities seeking investment seem to be unaware of it. Let’s spread the word that there is significant financial support available specifically for communities seeking to raise investment through community share issues.