Ideas for 2023
The year is 2023, and Community Shares Scotland has supported an exciting new initiative in Paisley. While the details of this case are of course fictional, hopefully it can inspire other ideas!
Originally forming as an off shoot of a climate change action group, REMAKE Paisley has since established a community waste reduction hub focussed on helping people to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.
Members of Paisley Action on Climate Emergency (PACE) had formed to discuss ways their community could help to mitigate the effects of climate change. After identifying a vacant office block owned by their local authority, a sub group of PACE volunteers came together to investigate a Community Asset Transfer and funding options to develop the site as a community enterprise.
With the support of the Community Ownership Support Service, the group were able to complete the Community Asset Transfer and take ownership of the building in 2020. While the site required significant renovation work to be brought into full use, volunteers were able to run a variety of temporary activities, bringing increased visibility and building up their supporter base.
The group recognised that their funding would come from a wide range of sources but had identified that community shares could form an essential component. After contacting Community Shares Scotland (CSS) they transferred from a Company Limited by Guarantee to a Community Benefit Society. This process was made simple with the support available and allowed them to carry over ownership of the building.
The share offer campaign for REMAKE Paisley opened in April 2020, launching with a community concert featuring famous Paisley residents. The campaign continued for six weeks, with REMAKE Paisley making the most of the community they had built over the previous two years. Making the most of their established social media following and a list of regular events attendees, REMAKE were able to quickly build their membership.
The share offer exceeded their target of £240,000, helping REMAKE to draw down other grants and match-fund donations to cover the cost of their £1.1 million redevelopment. Work is now underway to establish the site as a comprehensive waste reduction hub. REMAKE will run classes helping people to reduce, reuse and recycle, with a range of classes teaching people key skills such as repairing electrical items and reupholstering furniture. Outdoor space will be repurposed for allotments, helping to teach people to compost and to grow their own food. REMAKE has also launched an electric car club, which is currently staffed by volunteers but will expand over the coming years and eventually have a paid staff member sited in the building. A bike hub, including repair workshops and hire of both electric and non-electric bikes, will also be sited there.