Update on Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung funding

In 2020, our funding from Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung was instrumental. We are happy to report that we have received a second grant from RLS.

The main priority for our 2020 grant was the development of the Seven Sisters Market  Tenants Association. Supporting the SSMTA is one of the Trust’s four objectives. Due to the prolonged closure of the market, this was of critical importance. Viviana da Silva supported the organisation and coordination amongst traders on key issues as a part-time Trader Organiser. These issues included TfL’s financial hardship support to traders, and the Trust’s temporary market proposal. In addition, the grant also supported the Trust’s efforts to work make the case for the Community Plan.  

Given how crucial this funding was in 2020, we’re immensely grateful to have been supported by RLS for the second year running.

This year, part of the grant continues to support the development of the SSMTA. This portion will provide the second stage of a training and capacity building programme, and the continuation of Viviana as Trader Organiser.

Alongside this, the main focus of the 2021 funding is the development of the Trust itself. We’ve been able to recruit our first paid worker, Elara Shurety, who started in late June. Elara, as our Development Manager, will support the work and organisation of the Trust, and the development of the Wards Corner Community Benefit Society. Our funding will also cover professional consultancy, as well as various organisational costs. These include costs for legal documents, web assets, and the registration of the CBS.

In addition, the third portion of this funding will consolidate and advance design work on the Community Plan by topping up funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund. It will also enable us to procure a necessary project management service. 

This funding places the Trust and the Wards Corner CBS in a strong position to deliver the Community Plan. Since its start, we’ve already seen the benefits. For instance, following Grainger’s withdrawal we were able to gain coverage in major publications due to our increased capacity. Highlights include a Guardian opinion piece by our Trustees, alongside coverage in the Times, Independent, the Guardian, ITV News, Metro, Tottenham Community Press, and Caracol. We look forward to continuing this progress for the remainder of 2021.     

Watch our Public Presentation of the Community Plan

On 4th August, the Trust held a public presentation of the Community Plan. Anyone interested was welcomed to join. In the lead-up, we shared details widely using social media, flyers, and emails. Over 60 people joined via the Zoom. In addition to this, more than 15 market traders viewed the presentation together in person. 

We’re sharing the recording and presentations here, so anyone can consult them in their own time. You can watch the full meeting by following this link. This link also includes an automated transcript and chat messages with live Spanish translation.

The meeting consisted of two presentations. Following this, we held 45 minutes of open discussion in which attendees asked questions to the Trust.

The first presentation was given by members of Unit 38, co-designers of the fourth iteration of the Community Plan. Unit-38 addressed the history of the site and the development of the Community Plan, before detailing of the latest iteration Plan in depth. You can find a copy of this presentation here.  

The second presentation of the evening was an update on the delivery of the Plan from Trustee, Myfanwy Taylor. This informed attendees on the progress the Trust has made regarding the financial viability of Plan, and the outcomes of recent studies commissioned by the Trust. As part of this, Myfanwy highlighted the Wards Corner Benefit Society, and the upcoming workshops to shape it. You can find a copy of this presentation, with Spanish translation, here.  

If you’re unable to access any of the items above, or have any questions about their contents, don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Wards Corner Community Benefit Society

In the coming months, the West Green Road/Seven Sisters Development Trust will be hosting workshops to shape the Wards Corner Community Benefit Society.

In March, the Mayor of London/Coops UK awarded the Trust support via their Boosting Community Business programme. Through this, we have received 8 days of training and mentoring, and an allocated Coops UK support provider, Cooperative and Mutual Solutions Ltd

About the Wards Corner CBS

The Wards Corner CBS will be a new organisation that will restore and manage the Wards building. This will address problems caused by the long-term neglect of historic buildings and the market, delivering a new landmark gateway to Tottenham to kickstarting further improvements along the high street.  

We’re establishing the Wards Corner CBS because the Trust has a wider remit than just Wards Corner. As such, the Trust has always intended to set up a separate organisation to deliver the community plan as its first project. Community benefit societies are a type of organisation that conduct business entirely for the benefit of the community. Rather than profits being distributed amongst members or shareholders, community benefit societies use them for the benefit of the community. Ultimately, the Trust’s role will be to reinvest any surplus from the Wards Corner CBS in other local initiatives.

The Wards Corner CBS will make the restoration and management of the Wards building a democratic process. Community benefit societies issue community shares on a one member, one vote basis. By contrast, the default position by company law is a one share, one vote basis. This means that those able to buy more shares will not receive a greater amount of voting power. As a result, the Wards Corner CBS accountable to the community.

For more information about community benefit societies, Coops UK’s handbook is a helpful resource. You can also found out more about the Wards Corner CBS in our Annual Report.

How to get involved 

To guide the process of establishing the Wards Corner CBS, we will be facilitating workshops with key beneficiary communities and stakeholders. We will run specific workshops for market traders, local businesses, local residents, town centre users, Transport for London, and Haringey Council. These workshops will be open to all members of the relevant group. For example, the workshop for market traders will be open to all traders, not just those associated with the Seven Sisters Market Tenants Association. We encourage everyone eligible to play a role shaping the CBS.

We expect that these workshops will take place in September and October via Zoom. As soon as the programme is confirmed, we’ll be publishing information about how to register for these. Anyone interested is welcome to contact us, so we can send you details directly as soon as they’re available. Information will also be circulated by social media, emails, and flyering.