Co-op fund to boost local enterprise

Co-operativeA "radical" new scheme aimed at helping to fund community-owned enterprises and boost local services has been launched by The Co-operative Group.

A fund of £500,000 will be made available to underwrite community share issues following huge interest in local involvement in schemes ranging from retail and renewables to pubs and post offices.
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The fund will underwrite a community share issue by up to £50,000, although The Co-op said that the reassurance provided by the scheme may mean that any money-raising target will be reached without investment from the fund.
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Michael Fairclough, head of community and co-operative investment at The Co-op, said: "Communities across the country, driven by needs other than to maximise profit, are turning to co-operatively owned solutions for the provision of businesses and services.

"These enterprises are operated by a general public increasingly concerned for environment, community cohesion and sustainability.

"The Co-operative Enterprise Hub already provides a variety of tools to support community-led regeneration anywhere in the country.

"Its new Community Shares Fund offer seeks to enhance the service it provides, addressing the need for a very specific form of financial support as communities tackle local issues."

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Co-op fund to boost local enterprise

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