1.4.1 The initial stimulus

Since the inception of the Community Shares programme in 2009, more than 90% of community share offers have been made by new societies. Most of these societies have been formed by communities in response to one or more of the following:

  • a community is about to lose a local service, for instance, a pub, shop or post office, or any other community service that is encountering market failure
  • a community is being poorly served by an existing enterprise, for instance, supporters of a football club may feel that the current owners do not serve their interests, or a local service is too expensive or fails to address local needs
  • a community need or interest is not being met, for instance, there may be no local sports facilities, poor broadband connections, or a lack of flexible workspaces for new businesses
  • a community is inspired by new ideas or opportunities to act collectively, for instance, by the scope to establish community renewable energy schemes, local food initiatives, or develop community land trusts for affordable housing.

These stimuli result in new societies being formed as pre-start initiatives, or to act as the vehicle for acquisitions and buy-outs of existing enterprises that are failing in these communities. 

If you have any questions or suggestions for new information you would like to find in the Handbook, contact the team by email at communityshares@uk.coop