We are pleased to announce the official launch of the Wards Corner Community Benefit Society (CBS). This new organisation will manage and restore the Wards Corner buildings, and deliver the Wards Corner Community Plan.
The formation of the Wards Corner Community Benefit Society
The Wards Corner CBS is a one-member, one-vote organisation working entirely for the benefit of the community. Through this democratic model, the restoration and management of the Wards building will become a collective process, accountable to the whole community. The CBS will then redistribute any surplus it generates to fund other community development initiatives in the local area.
Last year, the Mayor of London/Coops UK Boosting Community Business programme supported the formation of the CBS. Through this initiative, we received training and mentoring from Dave Hollings, an independent specialist from Co-operative and Mutual Solutions. During the autumn 2021, he led a series of workshops with market traders, local residents, local businesses, and market users last autumn. Alongside this, the wider community shaped the CBS through a survey, which had the same format as the workshops.
Following this, Dave produced a report with a series of recommendations regarding the rules, structure, and governance of the Wards Corner CBS. With his guidance, we registered the Wards Corner CBS with the Financial Conduct Authority, the body that regulates community benefit societies. Dave’s report is available here.
Earlier this week, we were pleased to see the CBS officially launch. The event took place at Botellón Latino, in Seven Sisters, and was open to all.
We welcome anyone’s participation in the Wards Corner CBS. You can register as a supporter and sign up to get involved here. The Wards Corner CBS is currently fundraising to cover the costs of urgently needed work in preparation for the bidding process. For more info on what donations are going to, and the amazing rewards up for grabs, check out their Crowdfunding page.