About the project
Parracombe village is set in farming countryside on the Western edge of Exmoor National Park. Like many rural communities we have suffered from a decline in local services and there are those that suffer from social isolation. Our rural and isolated setting at the best of times presents challenges, particularly for those who rely on public transport. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown of all areas of the UK has had a profound impact, felt as much by residents of Parracombe as anywhere. In 2017 we lost our local shop, we not only lost of an essential service but also a place where people met.
We want to make our community more resilient to the effects we are experiencing. Our vision is to create a community owned and run shop with a café and recreation space that will be a hub for social engagement. It will be a social enterprise that provides our village and surrounding areas with essential community services, equal opportunities for employment and volunteering.
The project will redevelop a sports pavilion, doubling its footprint to provide a trading space to sell local produce and a café area. Being run as a community enterprise means it will be owned and run by residents with any surplus reinvested in other community projects.
The development will include renewable energy generation to offset carbon emissions. Our plan is also to also create additional outside recreational facilities for village events that will connect young and old alike.
- Accountable - We are a community trust who are accountable to our members and who have a say in running the business.
- Place - Rooted in our community, run by and working for the residents of Parracombe and surrounding parishes.
- Impact - We operate to generate social value and to create opportunities for volunteering and employment.
- Trading - A business that connects local people to local producers to generate returns that we will reinvest in the community.
How we will spend the money
The project is being run by Parracombe Community Trust, we are a community land trust that is owned and run by our members. We need to raise a total of £145,000 complete the project. In August of 2020 we launched a community share offer to raise a large part of the funds required. The share offer was supported by the Booster Programme from Community Shares Unit and they provided investment match funding. For every pound we raised they have matched. When the offer closed on 19 October we raised a total of £125,000 and increased our membership from 75 to 149 from our community and further afield.
The money we have raised so far will pay for the construction of the project. We now need to raise additional funds to fit out the building and will use the money we raise to help buy the fixtures and fittings for our community café.
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