Kick-off for Standard Mark at FC United

14th Jul 2015

The brand new Community Shares Standard Mark was launched at the inspiring FC United stadium earlier this month at an event attended by practitioners, intermediaries, and community enterprises themselves.

The launch took place at FC United’s new ground at Broadhurst Park, itself financed through community shares. The new national quality mark has been introduced by the Community Shares Unit (CSU) to help encourage best practice as the community shares market continues to grow. This market growth was showcased in an accompanying market report, published by the CSU to coincide with the Standard Mark launch.

Ahead of the event, several share offers piloted using the mark, with Benenden Community Shop in Kent the first to complete its share offer. Alongside this, the CSU has published a directory of licensed practitioners who are responsible for awarding the new quality mark.

Working with government and the Financial Conduct Authority, the CSU saw the value of developing national standards in giving greater confidence to investors. Unlike public share offers in companies, community shares are not regulated.

The Community Shares Standard Mark is awarded to share offers that meet good practice standards. It is not a guarantee that the business will be successful but rather that it has been independently assessed to have adopted good practices in developing the share offer and is committed to these high standards.

The Communities Minister, Marcus Jones, welcomed the launch of the quality mark, saying: “The community shares sector has witnessed phenomenal growth in the last few years. We want to support even more ambitious communities who want to bring much-loved assets into community ownership, from football clubs and community centres, to libraries and pubs.”

“But at the same time we want to ensure that those who use the community shares approach do so with due care to those that support them. The launch of the Standard Mark is an important step in ensuring that we foster and build on the momentum already created but at the same time instil confidence in those who want to do something worthwhile with their money.”

An Information Pack outlining how societies can apply for the Standard Mark is now available.