St John's Sunshine share offer launch

Despite the earlier woeful tale, 6 months of hard work culminated in the launch of the SJS community share offer at the bustling St John’s Centre in Old Trafford on the 1st April (no fooling about here).

The first set of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are already up and now we’re raising the cash to pay for them, and get on with our other grant plans!

Invest in sunshine

This amazing little project, located amongst the Victorian terraces of Old Trafford, is an Industrial Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community. A bit of a mouthful - it’s a community group, it's a business and it's a co-op. Its co-operative structure means that anyone can become a member and have an equal say, whether they pay £11 or £11,000.

Individuals and organisations in or around Old Trafford are being invited to invest £100 or more in withdrawable shares, and get a piece of solar panel. Not literally of course but those who get involved will feel part of something quite unique. Although we're asking folk to invest, it’s about people and community more than growing your pension pot. One goal involves raising income from the solar panels (and other sources) and distributing it to local projects through 'Sunshine Grants'. We’re looking into some significant tax breaks for individual investors too, which local expert in green taxes and accountancy Simpson Burgess Nash, has suggested might apply. Heartfelt thanks to Co-operatives UK, The Co-operative Enterprise Hub and Co-operative and Community Finance, who have made the road a lot less rocky.

Lots of firsts ...

SJS is... the first to be offered and take up a unique community share offer finance product (from Co-operative and Community Finance) ...first to have a church roof as a co-operative member(!)... first urban project (a stones throw from Manchester city centre) of its kind...  

In the bloggosphere

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A Guardian Northerner item covered the story in detail.  Kate Green MP also popped in to offer her support for the share offer (see Kate's blog).  Mark Simpson tells us more about the tax opportunities for investors.

Why is Sustainable Change Co-operative involved?

Co-ops are great, the people of Old Trafford are full of energy, and it's solar - why wouldn't we be involved! Fiona is a Director and Founder Member of St John's Sunshine. 

Find out more

If you would like the share prospectus, which details the project, explains the risks and tells you what you need to do next, email contact@stjohnssunshine.org.uk.

The prospectus will soon be available to download from the SJS website.

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