Our mission is

We're a community land trust with a mission "to provide sustainable affordable housing, and workspace for community enterprises, in Somerset; promoting co-operative principles and equality of opportunity for the benefit of the community.”
We place tenants at the heart of our governance structure, so that the land trust is always accountable to its intended beneficiaries. At the same time, any Somerset resident can join and have a say in how the society is run. Read 'About us' to find out more.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Directors needed to guide our CLT into a new year of opportunity

The biggest role we have for volunteers is of course on the board of directors – and with some of our best people having to contemplate leaving the board in the new year, we are very keen to hear from members who might be willing to take their place. It's a friendly and supportive group which requires only good judgement and enthusiasm – though we certainly wouldn't turn away people with project management and social housing skills, it isn't a prerequisite.
If you think that you might be able to contribute something to our mission, and you have a keen interest in sustainability, social justice and mutual aid, then we'd like to hear from you. Contact landtrust@somerset.coop and we'll be happy to tell you more and arrange for you to meet with existing board members.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Savings and Loans shop becomes ship shape

Another progress report from 10 East Reach; the builders have reached the ground floor and created the final shape of our new shop, from which we hope to provide savings and loans and other co-operative services.
This includes the new door to provide access to the upstairs flats; hopefully this doesn't take away from the frontage too much, and it means that tenants and workers can each do their thing without troubling the other.

We can really see the shape now of the space we have to work with. Our discussions with partner organisations for the shop are proceeding well, with Somerset Savings and Loans ready to discuss expansion of their activities in Taunton with local agencies, the Phone Co-op providing materials and support for us as an agency, and Co-op Energy about to start their own agency scheme. They're all great organisations, and we will be pleased as punch to be able to raise their profile in Somerset.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Volunteer power

This is a good sign - our crack team of volunteers have set to work painting the new rooms created by our builders. This is what progress looks like...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First fix completed

More pictures of timber and plasterboard... the builders are now covering over the wires and pipes, and fitting insulation in every crevice. And there's lots of stairs! Here's some picture so you know it's all true.

Ok, it looks worse than when we started. But I'm told that's necessary.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The changing face of 10 East Reach

The transformation of 10 East Reach into social housing and a credit union shopfront is going full steam ahead - and to prove it, there's now a collection of photos in the 'pictures' page (see the links to the right). Here's a taster of some of my favourites.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

An open offer

We have reached our initial fundraising target - so does that mean we don't want new applications for shares? Not a bit of it. We now have two objectives - building up our membership, especially people from Somerset, and gradually replacing debt with equity. So if you support the work we are doing to create social housing and community enterprise workspace and improve the urban environment, please become a member using this application form here.

We've got the builders in

Actually, this picture doesn't show a builder: that's Alex, the Project Development Officer, checking out the new stud partitions that will define the first four flats at 10 East Reach. This work is now largely complete (the roof has been re-laid, and new velux windows installed) and the first fix is about to commence.

Friday, August 1, 2014

We've made it - now the hard work starts...

The final total is still subject to a few adjustments and clarifications, but this will do for now: we have just squeaked through to £220,000 with the aid of Resonances community shares underwriting fund. In fact, the total will be more like £260,000 as Resonance have asked us to raise a slightly higher sum in order to provide a more comfortable cash flow: their contribution will be £125,000 of this. Thanks to everyone who joined, who liked our Facebook page, and especially to the awesome team of volunteers who are even now painting windows and fishing sludge out of drainpipes. Applicants should bear with us, as summer holidays will slow the usual process of issuing shares and confirming investments - but we'll get there soon. Meanwhile, the builders are hard at work creating homes for people that need them.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Coverage in the local press

We have been very grateful for some excellent press coverage of our share offer - several board members were interviewed by the BBC for a morning radio new item. We also got this excellent article published in the Somerset County Gazette...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New closing date - now extended to 31st July

We are so close to our target - the £94,000 we have raised so far, plus £125,000 in match funding offered by Resonance Ltd, has got us to within a stone's throw of our target. However, we do need a bit more - so we are extending the share offer to the 31st July. That will definitely be it, so please do take a look at our offer document and supporting documents (which you'll find in the posts below) and consider whether you could become one of our members.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Share issue off to a good start - but we need more

We've been able to fill in some big red blocks on the thermometer that is on display on the front door of 10 East Reach. As of the 13th, we had reached £86,750 - well on the way!
We're very pleased that investors are happy to go with our plans for an increased rate of return in place of Social Investment Tax Relief (which, disappointingly, will not be available).
We have also started to get more coverage in local media, with a piece in the Somerset County Gazette and BBC Somerset due to broadcast a piece this morning (we'll post a link when that is confirmed).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

AGM 23rd May

Our AGM this year has one very important proposal: to convert to a Community Benefit Society in order to confirm our focus on community service and get the benefit of a regulated assets lock.
You can download:
The Agenda
The Social Accounts
The new rules
A guide to changes in the rules

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Share offer now open!

Our offer of community shares is now open! We hope you will feel that this is a project that you will want to support with an investment (not forgetting that we are aiming for 3 - 7% pa interest - sadly, the new Social Investment Tax Relief will not be available). However, as with all investments in shares, you shouldn't invest any funds you can't afford to be without.
Our target is £220,000 - it's a lot, but it is far from impossible. Even if you can't invest yourself you can help us by linking to this page on social media or emailing your friends. Spread the word!
Before you take a decision, you'll need to read our offer document, attached here.
You might also want to take a look at these:
- Equality policy
- Recent accounts
- Sustainability policy
- Rules of the Society (subject to registration with the FCA)
- Health and safety