A community investment initiative which is run by Locality and Co-operatives UK is set to expand as it launches the Community Shares Unit project later this year.
Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the project aims to build the market for a community shares model through a three-year project that will offer guidance, advice and market intelligence, working with stakeholders and government in one centralised hub.
A steering group made up of individuals from government, regulatory, co-operative and community sectors will oversee the unit.
The plans for the unit were revealed by documents released with a job advert recruiting a programme leader to run the Unit. Between 2012 and 2015 the unit hopes to support more than 500 social ventures by launching more than 200 share issues.
The two organisations jointly ran the Community Shares research project into community investment between 2009 and 2011. This looked at how the sale of bonds in enterprises serving a community purpose with the aim of raising at least £10,000 from no fewer than 20 members.
So far the organisations are aware of 250 enterprises that have, or plan to have community investment initiatives to raise funds to buy local resources. These include taking over football clubs and buying community shops.