Yes, we officially exist! We are now registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a Society for the Benefit of the Community! In other words, a non profit social enterprise. Thanks to all those who freely helped us with our application, particularly Brian and Bruce from Greenmarque, Chris and Ed our lawyers from Debevoise and Plimpton, and Co-ops UK.
So things are hotting up. It seems to have taken ages, but please bear with us. We are now finalising our business plan, our financials, and our community share offer. We are working with GLL, Wandsworth Council and Granit architects on the plan for our premises in Northcote Library. Our communications group is preparing to spread the word so that we can raise our start-up capital through community shares: we will be owned by the community, who will have a say in how we are run. If we can sell enough shares, we can make the dream a reality and provide Northcote Road with a first class bookshop and literary hub for young and old.
Thanks to all those who filled in our market research survey, which has been so useful. A summary of it will be appearing here soon. Also for those who voted for their favourite name for the bookshop. Much agonising with lovely suggestions, but the winner actually was Northcote Books – who knew! We found a treasurer at last: a warm welcome to Maria Walsh.
Share and share alike
We are preparing for the big push: raising the start-up money through community shares. This venture will be sustainable, we just need initial capital. We want people to buy shares, sell shares, and get their workplace, school, grandmothers, friends and colleagues to buy shares. The share offer will be made soon, hopefully before Christmas – get your child a bookshop for Christmas
Can you help?
There are so many talented people in our neighbourhood. Some are well known and might be prepared to lend their glittering support to help us, as patrons perhaps. Others are just keen to see this thing up and running and will give us a hand when they have time. Others have some clever ideas for the bookshop and for fund raising. Help us to find these people – could it be you?
We are seeking:
• a few grand donations from philanthropists and booklovers to encourage everyone else to give
• lovely people to hold fund raising dinners, and benefits
• helpers to help organise an event or benefit.
Just to add that we are not a charity (bookshops apparently are not eligible) but we are a not for private profit society, and our official aim is a charitable and educational one: to advance education by promoting reading, learning and the acquisition of knowledge through a love of good books, literacy, writing and creativity.The aim is also to bring the community together, by offering a personal and stimulating environment, involving novelists, poets, scientists, travellers, all those who write.There will be a particular emphasis on books and activities for children and young people. All at the heart of our community in Northcote Road. Join us!
This month saw the opening of a bookshop that has been an inspiration for us as it is built on community shares: Crediton Community Bookshop in Devon. We have also been on field trips to other great bookshops, to get ideas and advice. We are really looking forward to putting it all to good use. If you have experience or tips that you think would help, please don’t hesitate, just contact us.