How We Will Become More Socially, Financially and Environmentally Sustainable.
Next year, it will have been 40 years since Birmingham Friends of the Earth moved into The Warehouse and 30 years since we purchased the building. The only way that we managed to raise the money for this was through loans from our members and supporters and the inspiring dedication of the people that promoted it.
Today, we’re faced with new challenges. We want the building to become fully accessible, financially self-sustaining and carbon neutral. We’ve got the structural engineering calculations, planning permission, building control notice, architects drawings, business plan and desire to transform The Warehouse to meet our vision. The one thing that we’re missing is the money to do it.
That’s why we’re asking our supporters to invest in our future for the next 30 years. You won’t just be financial supporters or customers, but a member and owner of one of Birmingham’s leading environmental organisations.
We’re telling you about this now because we’ve received a grant to test our business plan and make sure we’ve got everything in place before the offer goes out next year. Big Potential is funding us to work with the Plunkett Foundation, who have a real expertise in testing business plans and preparing community share issues. If the business plan fails, then we won’t release the issue.
Just as we repaid the original investors, we plan to make the money from our share issue withdrawable as soon as the investment pays off. At the moment, we hope that the option of full repayment will be possible within 6 years, but this may change. We also hope to get advanced assurance from HMRC that every investor will be able to claim 30% of their investment off their tax bill as a way of financially rewarding people for helping us.
There’s a lot of work to be done to prepare all of this, which is why we don’t expect to release it until next year. However, we would be delighted if you signed up to help us spread the word after it launches and even happier if you expressed interest as a potential investor.