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May 31, 2011

Borrowing from the private sector

If there’s any truth in the saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ then hopefully we will start to see some real innovation in the field of fundraising. With so many of the traditional sources of grant under intense pressure, there’s growing interest in how the private sector go about raising capital. Could some of these fundraising strategies be adapted to serve the needs of our sector? The community on the Isle of Scalpay think they might have found a way

Tuesday 10 May 2011 , Stornoway Gazette

Members of the public will be invited to invest by purchasing shares  in the newly formed community cooperative Buth Scalpaigh Limited who will be responsible for running the Scalpay Community Shop which is scheduled to begin trading in March 2012.

Membership of the cooperative will require a minimum investment of 1 X £25 share on a strict ‘one member one vote’ basis meaning that the purchase of multiple shares is allowed although each member has equal voting rights irrespective of the amount of shares held.

It is hoped that £10,000 will be raised via the share option so that building renovation work can begin as soon as possible. The primary purpose of the co-operative is to secure the future of this service for the community, not to make returns on capital invested. Any profit made by this community venture is likely to be reinvested back into the community.

A public meeting was held in Scalpay Community Centre where a presentation relating to the Community Shop project and an explanation of the share option scheme will be given by members of Scalpay Community Development who are the community group spearheading this development.

The public meeting will be followed up with drop-in surgeries at the shop itself to allow members of the community the opportunity to visit the premises and to further discuss any queries that they may have relating to the share option scheme.

Upon completion of this share option scheme, Buth Scalpaigh’s interim committee shall be dissolved and a new committee will be formed at a formal meeting of cooperative members. Although it is fully acknowledged that there is a great deal of work still to be done regarding this project, the interim board of directors at Buth Scalpaigh would like to take this opportunity to thank Harris Development Limited, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Leader, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Business Gateway for all their support and without whom a Community Shop on Scalpay would not be possible.

For more information on community shares click here