A great story from the South West on how the cooperative model can work.
Local residents registered as a co-operative and launched a community share issue to find the £20,000 needed to save a bookshop from closure.
For fourteen years, the bookstore in Clevedon, North Somerset,just 100 metres from the promenade,has been a popular destination for book lovers to browse in the Victorian seaside town. However, the retirement of its owner had threatened to close it.
Now, approaching 300 members have invested at least £10 to become ‘co-owners’ of Clevedon Community Bookshop Co-operative (CCBC), joining the growing ranks of those challenging the orthodoxy that the role of business is solely the relentless pursuit of profit.
Over recent weeks, the shop has felt the benefit of community co-operation with volunteers and members carrying out painting, decorating, carpentry and other tasks needed to ready the shop for its re-opening, which takes place between 12 (noon) and 4pm on 31 December 2011.
Angela Everitt, Secretary of CCBC, said: “We’ve have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received. Our aim was to attract a large number of investors who, as co-owners, will have a say in how the enterprise is run. More than 250 people invested from just £10 to raise a total of £7,500 which, coupled with loan money and grants, has enabled the community to save this store.
She added that “Members and volunteers have worked hard to refurbish the store, new flooring has gone down and the final task will be to stock our great new bookcases. We hope that members and customers alike will join us on New Year’s Eve and, this also gives any last minute investors a chance to drop off their applications.”
A great story