[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][image height=”245″ image_width=”full” crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame=”false” align=”center” margin=”30″]https://communityshares.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/exeterstreet.jpg[/image][testimonial_slider count=”1″ testimonials=”8828″ order=”ASC” orderby=”date” hoverpause=”100000″ speed=”100″][padding height=”28″][/vc_column][/vc_row][mk_page_section attachment=”scroll” bg_position=”left top” bg_stretch=”false” enable_3d=”false” speed_factor=”4″ bg_video=”no” video_color_mask=”#f7ad16″ video_opacity=”0.6″ min_height=”100″ padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″ margin_bottom=”0″ first_page=”false”][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text margin_bottom=”30″]

We helped people in the Prestonville community in Brighton with community ownership, as they raised £150,000 to buy the old church hall in their area.

The hall was owned by a local church but the diocese wanted to sell it to developers to raise funds for a newer hall closer to the church and its congregation.

Once upon a time, the community might have formed an action group and lobbied the local council to buy the hall or they might have attempted to stop the development getting planning permission which, even if successful, would have created a stalemate.

They knew the council couldn’t afford to spend money on a new facility in a time of swingeing cuts and, besides, the community knew that the heart of the problem was the fact that the building had an asset value and the only way it could be truly saved was by owning it themselves.

So they resolved to buy it. Their campaign wasn’t just to save the hall, but also to rejuvenate it. Since raising the £150,000 they needed to complete the purchase, they have pressed on with renovating the building and making it fit for a modern 21st century community, which the 19th century architecture didn’t reflect.

The group have also brought their communications into the 21st century and use social media technology to engage their investors and owners with the work the small team of Directors and volunteers undertake.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text margin_bottom=”30″]The Project

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  • Exeter St church hall was owned by the Diocese of Chichester, who wanted to sell it to developers.
  • The group launched a share issue to raise the money for community ownership from the 400-strong local community.

What We Did
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  • The group formed in haste and as the campaign got going, events moved faster than their capacity to keep up. We were brought in to provide advice on some technical and legal issues and help the group think about their options if their share offer was successful and they ended up managing the hall.
  • We focussed on putting in place governance structures that would stand the test of time.


More Information

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