Thu 23 Dec 2021 10:29PM

Proposal: That Platform 6 makes a grant from its development fund to GO-OP Learn for the acquisition of land at Thingley Junction near Chippenham

AL Alex Lawrie Public Seen by 67

This is an application from GO-OP Learn (supported by GO-OP Train, SCS CIC and Development Co-op) to establish a co-operative development hub at Thingley Junction in Wiltshire.


Alex Lawrie Thu 23 Dec 2021 10:34PM

Here's our proposal as a PDF:


Alex Lawrie Thu 23 Dec 2021 11:27PM

And here's some photos I took the day before yesterday, while being shown round the site by the owner in the company of activists from Bath and Chippenham.


@Alex Lawrie it seems unlikely that P6 has enough to cover the £2500 you're requesting, does every little help?


Alex Lawrie Tue 4 Jan 2022 10:18AM

Sure does!


adrian ashton Mon 3 Jan 2022 12:30PM

seems like a nice proposal in principle - couple of initial clarification 'starters for 10' off the top of my head:

1) what happens if, as @Cath M in Leeds (Cornerstone Housing/Radical Routes/Platform6) suggests, there's less than the full amount requested able to be awarded? (or what happens if nothing is agreed to be awarded?)

2) there's been some development work to date around this, so whose resourced that, and who's been lined up to be approached to support the subsequent future activities (presumably a community share issue wouldn't cover all of it?)?

3) are there any timescales or deadlines surrounding these activities and work?

4) have any other support options for this work been considered (and discounted) - for example, the Reach fund?


Alex Lawrie Thu 6 Jan 2022 12:54PM

'Nice'? I feel damned by faint praise. How about 'amazing' or 'mind boggling'? Anyway...

1) We'll make use of whatever you can provide, I think I'd say. We do have some other resources to draw on, and some ideas for further funding (see my answer to 4 below) and so we'd try to press on with that. But P6 funding would enable us to be more decisive and would reduce the risk of the opportunity slipping away.

2) SCS CIC is working on this at risk at present. There are limits to what we can do this way, as I'm sure you can imagine.

3) If we don't get heads of terms in place this month, and sign an option agreement next month, I'd be concerned that the vendor will lose confidence in us and/or sell to someone else.

4) Reach, P2C and others are certainly under active consideration (the issue with Reach is working out who the access point would be).


Graham Thu 6 Jan 2022 1:16PM

This looks to me to be a very ambitious project. I've got no idea of the total anticipated cost of delivering on the vision, and what the risk of failure is. Are the partners actually in a position to be able to take this thing forward? Assuming that you'll need to raise a pretty hefty amount of finance to cover purchase and development costs, and not knowing what the scale of existing resource is that you are building on top of, this feels a bit like throwing cash into a dark pit and hoping.

Is the landowner likely to provide the option you are seeking - presumably an agreed period of time during which your group will have exclusive rights to agree a deal to purchase. If they do that in the course of the next month or two as you want, what's the likely time frame will you then have available to you in which you'll need to raise the purchase price? (in asking these questions I'm aware that this thread appears to be publicly accessible, so some discretion seems appropriate in terms of sharing detailed information - perhaps we should make this space a. little more private?)


Alex Lawrie Thu 6 Jan 2022 1:54PM

I'll answer the second bit first, because it is easier. The landowner has indicated willingness to consider a six month option in principle. However, we have not got as far as discussing a deposit or other details, and so it's not in the bag.

As for whether it is even possible... the truth is, I don't know a better way of finding out the answer to that than trying. A lot hinges on GO-OP; if it has an offer of a track access contract, then it is already raising several million and the land will not make that any harder (might even help, being good collateral). If it doesn't, then it would be very tricky indeed. If GO-OP were to fail completely, the site becomes a lot less desirable - maybe even pointless. Unfortunately, it will be a month before I really know if the track access is going to happen.


Graham Tue 18 Jan 2022 4:29PM

The track access contract appears pivotal. suggest that we review the proposal once that is in place.


Leo Sammallahti Fri 28 Jan 2022 10:28AM

The document mentions a future Community Share offer - perhaps P6 investing in the share offer would be a better form of funding? The project seems very cool!