Community Share Hotspots revealed by CSU

1st Jul 2014

As part of Co-operatives Fortnight, the CSU has supported a piece of research which has revealed the top ten areas where communities have launched and completed share offers to purchase local assets, from pubs and shops to wind farms and football clubs. Oxfordshire secures the top spot, with areas from Exeter to West Yorkshire ranking in the top ten.

In the last five years nearly 40,000 people have invested almost £40 million in more than 200 community share issues.

The hotspots revealed in the research are spread across England, with particular concentrations in the South East, South West and North of England.

  • Oxfordshire is the community shares capital, with 9,000 people raising £5 million through ten community share issues. They include a large telecommunications co-operative alongside a cluster of energy schemes, community-owned pubs, shops and local food initiatives
  • Manchester has nine share issues enabling 3,000 people to raise £2.5 million. This includes a large share issue for FC United, the fan-owned football club founded in opposition to the Glazers’ ownership of Manchester United, alongside a mix of energy schemes, local food stores and a community-owned pub
  • In Bristol 2,000 people raised £1.8 million through nine community share issues. These included a diverse range of enterprises, from boats to bookshops, finance to farms

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said “In our era of austerity and big business, community share issues are one of the fastest growing and most reassuring trends. When people find their local pub, their football club or their shop under threat, they band together to save it.

“This new research shows that community shares are for everyone, everywhere. From Oxford to Alston, up and down the country communities of all kinds are doing it for themselves.”