Communities across the UK can face significant challenges including poverty, crime and the closure of vital local services. Some places suffer from particular disadvantages. Social investment, including community shares, can be the catalyst to help communities develop local solutions to meet local needs with the right kind of finance and support.
Communities are using social business models to buy community buildings, develop community spaces and install community energy schemes which generate unrestricted income from selling energy which can be spent on local services. There have been over 350 community share raises, supporting a range community businesses from energy and housing to pubs and sports clubs. Recent community share issues have also used Social Investment Tax Relief to offset some of the risk for investors.
Impact evidence is variable in this outcome area as many local projects are run by volunteers with restricted time or capacity. We are working with partners to develop a shared measurement approach for community groups. For example, Pure Leapfrog are currently developing a toolkit to support community energy projects by developing proportionate tools for impact measurement.