£10,000 fund for community co-ops

A new fund that will support communities wanting to buy a building or set up a community enterprise has been created, thanks to a £10,000 prize, won by Cardigan community co-operative 4CG Ltd.

Earlier this year, a subcommittee from 4CG won a Wales-wide Dragon’s Denstyle contest, fielding fierce questioning from a judging panel of business veterans.

They won £10,000 to support the roll-out of the community ownership model in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

The model has already proved successful in Cardigan where 4CG shareholders have been able to buy nearly an acre of the town and, more recently, the town’s old police station and courthouse.

Another group has been formed to facilitate the community buy-out of the town’s famous Cellar Bar. Other groups in Eglwyswrw, Hermon and Glandwr are hoping to set up shops and centres, as the loss of village shops has left people with no social point to meet at or to walk to.

The £10,000 will provide a small boost for each of these, and other budding enterprises, in the early stages when they need it most. It will also ensure that the lessons from communities’ efforts to save their resources and rebuild their economies are spread throughout Wales.

“This is the most exciting project I am involved with, the potential is revolutionary,”

said project leader Vicky Moller.

“I am amazed to see people queuing up to invest in shared ownership, to see how this model restores their hope for the future, and their sense of power. It may be the answer to recession, global corporations, environmental destruction and social malaise. I do hope this small fund makes a huge difference.”

Cris Tomos, 4CG treasurer, added: “We are glad to be able to assist other groups to take the route we have and to promote community purchases and community enterprises. 4CG is not only there to run its own enterprises but to help anyone wanting to do something similar, especially in the Cardigan area.”

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