This is your chance to invest in Nudge Community Builders. You can help us to bring the Millennium Building back into use alongside our partner Eat Work Art.
If you have memories of being in the building or are just excited that it's now going to be used again - then this is your chance to put your money to work in the local community and help make that happen!
We aim to breathe life into the Millennium building once more and further elevate Plymouth’s arts and culture scene on a national scale. We will do this by creating an outstanding music and entertainment venue that attracts a vast network of creatives keen to perform, create and make use of the various spaces in inspirational ways. We will manage the development of this magnificent building in a way that draws creative talent to the area, creates job opportunities for local people, students and professionals so that we contribute to our local community and the city ambitions.
We are aiming to raise £500,000 of community share investment. This will pay back the money we borrowed to buy the building and go towards getting the ground floor into use by next year. We want this to be a good investment - not only do you become part of the journey, you can also get up to 3.6% on your investment.
A little bit about Nudge
Nudge is a Community Benefit Society created in 2017 and run by local residents living in Stonehouse, Plymouth. We are making Union Street a street the whole world loves.
In four years we have made a real visible difference to the street, running The Clipper, The Plot, Union Corner and lots of pop-up street activity and support in response to local need.
Working together with lots of people and organisations in our community we have created jobs, spaces for people to live, work and enjoy in ways that did not exist on the street before.
At the heart of everything we do is collective ownership and collaboration - together we can create lasting change that directly benefits our community, the economy and the environment in a way that works best for local people.
About Community shares
If you are new to the idea of community shares it’s a great way to support things to happen in your community. You invest your money in a social enterprise that puts your money to good use, and you get a return on your investment as well as a social return to the local community.
Community shares is a user-friendly name for withdrawable, non-transferable share capital, which is unique to co-operative and community benefit societies. A recent report published by Co-ops UK found that:
- Since 2012, £155m has been raised by 104,203 people to support more than 440 businesses.
- 92% of businesses that have raised finance with community shares are still trading.
Share offer summary
Our track record
In 2018 we ran a share offer on The Clipper. We raised £206,000 from over 150 investors who became members of Nudge. We have managed The Clipper in a way that has enabled us to pay out up to 3.6% to shareholders and we are on track to pay back investors as promised.
At the time we said; ‘We are testing out a process of bringing buildings back into use and plan to learn from this and use it as a model to buy more problem buildings in our community.’ That is exactly what we have done.
We have also recognised the complexities of bringing investment into a street like ours and that there is room for different collaborative ways of doing this. This led to buying this building in partnership with Eat Work Art.
Who are Eat Work Art?
Eat Work Art is renowned for transforming disused spaces into vibrant communities, inspiring a host of creative businesses to thrive and grow. They have become leaders in creative placemaking since 2009, with well known ventures including Netil House, Hackney Downs Studios and Old Paradise Yard. They are currently revitalising Alma Yard in the East End of Plymouth.
So what's the plan?
Phase 1: The main ground floor space will be repaired and servicing provided to allow for local independent businesses with a focus on suitable commercial uses that complement the wider ambitions for the building and create local jobs.
Phase 2: The front portion of the ground floor will be given over to public-facing uses, such as independent makers or a public art gallery and servicing the wider building with toilets etc.
The first floor ancillary space is ideally suited to daytime use as a café, serving both public and tenants renting the work-spaces below; whilst in the evening this would become a bar that serves the main auditorium.
The existing auditorium will be repaired and sympathetically renovated, being careful to retain the layers of history reflected in the building fabric. This is capable of providing a circa 1500 capacity music venue (something which Plymouth sorely lacks).
Phase 3: The top floor is linked to the café space via the southeastern staircase and so could form part of the same use, alternatively it could offer an opportunity for a landmark venue.
Why do we need investment?
We were supported to purchase the building by the Rank Foundation who have a long association with the building, and Power to Change who are supporting hundreds of community businesses like ours across the country.
This put us in a position to be able to secure the building quickly after many years of negotiating and failed attempts to secure it. We are now running a community share offer to pay back the short term financial support we took on from the Rank Foundation to buy the building and to give us a working budget to make quick progress. This is the same approach we took to buy The Clipper.
The share offer is also important because it creates the collective ownership and the buy in that makes a Nudge building feel different to other places and businesses. This is a major project and a collective approach is key to making it a success.
We know that many of you were really frustrated that this building was standing empty, we know there is a city need for the uses we propose. We want you to be more than part of the audience and feel part of bringing the building back to life, it is going to cost a lot of money and we’d prefer to pay a return to investors that care about how we approach things and what we do.
Please only invest what you can afford. Take your time to read the full share offer document and all the information we have available, you may want to take independent financial advice and please ask us any questions you need to.