One of the reasons why the share offer has been unavoidably delayed has been that Committee members Bill, Colin, George, Mike and Tony have been hard at work, preparing, submitting and revising the documents for independent assessment for the Community Shares Standard Mark. They have been assisted in this by Helen Melia, a business adviser specialising in community finance, who helps share offers like ours on behalf of The Plunkett Foundation. Helen’s invaluable input was funded by Co-Operatives UK’s ‘The Hive’ scheme.
We are happy and proud to announce that we have now been awarded the Standard Mark. This is great news for our Share Offer, as the Mark assessment acts as a final check on the quality of a community share offer before its public launch. It means that our supporters can have confidence that the share offer will be well-regulated and supported by a viable business plan. Societies awarded the Mark are required to sign up to a code of practice, which includes agreeing to an open member and public complaints procedure.
More excitingly, the Mark opens the pathway to funding, provided via the Community Shares Unit’s Booster Scheme, which could match our members’ investments for the Society (up to, potentially, a sum of £100,000) and to promotion by the Unit of the issue.
Our Standard Mark Assessor has commented, “Congratulations for achieving the Mark and I just want to give you my very best wishes for a successful share offer – I shall follow its progress with interest and hopefully it will not be too long before your community owns The George!”