We don’t want to just save our amazing community space. We want it to be the best-loved, community-owned venue in Bristol.
by Zion Community Space in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom
Changing lives through social connections is at the heart of what we do. For over 11 years, Zion Community Art Space has provided a place to chat over a cup of tea or lunch, a place to meet friends, learn something new, find a support group or to enjoy comedy, music, theatre and more.
In order to safeguard this vital community space for the future – and to create a bigger and better community hub for all in Bedminster Down, Bishopsworth and beyond – we are launching a Community Share Offer.
If successful, our Community Share Offer will mean Zion – the building and all that goes on inside it – is owned by the community and will remain so for future generations.
We need to raise a minimum of £249,300 through our Community Share Offer and we’re asking as many supporters as possible to invest and get involved in Zion’s future.
Watch our video to learn why Zion is worth your support.
Back in 2011, Bristol resident Jess Wright purchased an empty Methodist chapel with a loan from Triodos Bank. Once a focus for the local community of Bedminster Down, this historic chapel had been left derelict after the congregation could no longer afford to sustain it.
Jess wanted to breathe life back into this beautiful building, a real landmark in BS13. She also wanted to create a much-needed community centre in a residential area with few social or cultural venues. She wanted a place where people of all ages and backgrounds (especially those who were isolated or excluded) could meet to improve wellbeing on a personal and community level.
Using a small start-up budget of £5,000 (her own money), Jess began renovating the building. Thanks to the support of a small team of volunteers, Zion opened its doors to the community once again; this time as a small-scale café serving coffee and cakes, and offering a few extras such as film nights and kids’ creative sessions.
Over the past 11 years, Zion Community Art Space has become ever more popular. It attracts 15,000 people a year and is now open at least five days a week, offering:
Jess who has owned and run Zion Bristol Ltd as a Social Enterprise for over 10 years is stepping down from her role this year. She is offering the community the opportunity to purchase this privately-owned building and save the space for future community use, opening up more opportunities, more input from the community and access to funding. If the building is not purchased by the community, it will be put onto the private market and the community space could be lost forever.
What are Community Share Offers?
Community Share schemes are a great way of funding projects that benefit the community. They enable communities to invest in projects that matter to them and can be used to save local shops, sports clubs and pubs, and to transform community facilities. Anyone can choose to invest in Community Shares and each investor is given a say on how the community project is run.
How can I invest in Zion’s future?
We believe a Zion Community Share Offer will safeguard our amazing community space for the future and it will also enable us to create the best-loved, community-owned venue in Bristol.
Our Community Share Offer is now open to investors and will close on 10th June 2022. Anyone can buy shares, become a member and enjoy a vote on important issues that involve Zion at twice yearly meetings. It’s one member, one vote, so you will have a say, no matter the size of your investment.
Zion is a high-ceilinged former chapel and even bigger than it looks from the outside; hence, it’s got huge potential. At the back of the current community space is a residential part, which could be used for new and exciting community activities – and to generate income. By purchasing the building, community members will have more space, more flexibility and more say about the things they want to see happening at Zion. The opportunities are endless.
If the Community Share Offer is successful, Zion will be owned by the community. It will be run day-to-day by staff but will be guided by the Trustees and all members who invest and get involved.
How much do I need to invest and what are the risks?
We want to encourage as many members as possible to invest in Zion and, therefore, the minimum shareholding is low. You can invest a minimum of £50 if you live in BS13 and are in receipt of benefits. Otherwise the minimum investment is £100 and the maximum is £29,930.
A comprehensive set of terms and conditions are detailed in our Community Share Offer brochure – you’ll find it attached as a pdf at the end of this page.
In the event that we do not reach our minimum target, we will not proceed with our Community Share Offer. No shares will be allocated and any money committed by our investors will be returned.
Important: You need to be aware that any money you invest in community shares is fully at risk. You could lose some or all of your money if the society gets into financial difficulties. Community Share Offers are exempt from, or outside the scope of, statutory regulations that apply to the public offer of shares and other financial promotions. Applicants have no recourse to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service.
How can I find out more?
Read our Community Share Offer brochure attached below
Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages: ZionCommunityShareProject
Or email your questions to: [email protected]