Welcome to our community share offer. Together we can secure the future of Sutton Community Farm and build a barn to give ourselves the space we need to flourish.
Sutton Community Farm sits on a seven acre smallholding, with views towards the skyline of central London. We are excited to give you the opportunity to invest in our thriving enterprise and become a Member and co-owner. By investing you are supporting a new approach to farming; one that’s sustainable, resilient and benefits people as well as the planet.
We started our farm in 2010 in response to a community need, with the purpose to increase access to fresh, healthy, sustainable food and provide a shared space for people to cultivate skills, get exercise and make friends. Being a community-owned farm means that you can join in and help shape who we are and what we do. Each year we’ve gone from strength to strength and have been inspired by the way local food brings the community together. Our first share offer in 2015/16 was a great success and we're now owned by over 140 Members.
What we do
Our Farm is about "Making Food Fair and Cultivating Community". We distribute the majority of our produce via a VegBox scheme, currently delivering to over 240 local households each week. As we grow food, we invite people to join in. As well as our regular cohort of volunteers, we have visits from school groups, colleges for those with learning disabilities, probation services and businesses from across London. Our educational work is centred around food production, cooking and healthy lifestyles. We are a hugely valuable community asset offering the opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together, reconnect with the land, get some exercise, gain a breather from busy city lives and improve their health and wellbeing.
We have four aims:
- To increase local food supply, grown sustainably
- To create inclusive, shared spaces for the community to cultivate skills
- To be community-led
- To achieve economic stability, supporting land-based employment
We’ve built our VegBox scheme from scratch and are growing fast. In the last year alone our customer numbers have increased by over 50%. Our VegBox scheme is our route to financial sustainability, with all the income generated ploughed back into our community activities. To support ourselves we need 400 customers. And to support 400 customers we desperately need more space for weighing, packing and storage. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work to do. We need you help!
Help us build a barn
Our share offer will raise money for a new barn that will:
- Accommodate our VegBox needs and enable us to grow to 400 customers
- Allow us to host more school groups and provide dedicated space for educational activities
- Enable us to offer more volunteering opportunities and bring more people to the farm to benefit from all that we do together
We have secured the support of the Booster Programme, which is funded by Power to Change and run by the Community Shares Unit. Under this programme up to £68,575 is available to match applications for shares from the public. This means that for every £1 invested by individuals up to £68,575, another £1 will be invested in shares by the Booster Programme. Your money will go even further.
How the share offer money will help us?
We have three targets ranging from the minimum needed to go ahead to a maximum that will allow us to build a structure of ideal size as well as comfortably cover all associated costs.
- Minimum: £68,575 to upscale VegBox scheme and take us to financial resilience.
- Optimum: £103,390 to upscale VegBox scheme and provide flexible space that we can manage in by rearranging throughout the week.
- Maximum: £137,150 to upscale VegBox scheme and provide dedicated, fully fitted out space for activities taking place throughout the week.
Depending on the total amount raised the capacity of the new barn will enable us to achieve the following:
Benefits of Membership
Members are entitled to:
- 5% discount on VegBoxes for one year
- Invitation to Members’ only events, and a warm welcome to visit at other times
- Your name on the wall of our new barn
- Member communications on a regular basis, offering deeper engagement with the farm
- Have a say in the farm's governance with a vote at the Annual Members' Meeting
About the investment
Membership is open to individuals over the age of 16, corporate bodies, and associations who support our objectives and is on a one Member, one vote basis irrespective of shareholding. Membership is subject to a minimum shareholding set at £30 although as a Member you can hold any value of shares between £30 and the maximum shareholding of £6,000. Shares have a nominal value of £1.
These shares can be withdrawn after five years with the approval of the Management Committee. Sutton Community Farm aims to pay 2% interest per annum on the shares after the close of the financial year ending 31st March 2019. This too is at the discretion of the Management Committee.
The investment should be considered as an opportunity to contribute financially to the farm with the expectation of a social dividend rather than a financial reward. This is a long-term investment. The shares cannot be sold. We do not access any funds until the share offer is over and we have contacted you with confirmation of our situation.
This share offer has been awarded the Community Shares Standard Mark, awarded by the Community Shares Unit to offers that meet national standards of good practice. For more information about community shares, the Community Shares Standard Mark and the Community Shares Unit go to: www.communityshares.org.uk
Please see the Share Offer Document for important information about:
- Restrictions on returns
- Risks and caution
- Eligibility of membership
- Voting rights
- Nature of the investment
Owning Sutton Community Farm together means that we can secure the future and work together to make sure we have a thriving, welcoming space for everyone to enjoy for the years to come. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support and participation of thousands of people in our community. We’re asking you to join with us and help take things to the next level on this wonderful journey that began in an empty field seven years ago.