A housing co-operative in Cornwall has secured its future by acquiring the cottage and associated land and buildings it was renting.
Spiral Collective Housing Co-operative became the owner of the property, on Pendennis Headland, with support from Co-operative and Community Finance.
The community activist group has occupied the site, under a short-term tenancy agreement with owner South West Water, since 2003.
When they moved in, the buildings were derelict but the eviction team let them to stay and restore the site to create living and working spaces.
Tim van Berkel, who moved in two years ago, said: “Over the years many people have come and gone. They tend to stay for two to four years. There is one original resident here. One resident is pregnant and that’s a very positive sign for the future.”
The property includes a six-bedroom brick house, two detached workshops and a large garden with vegetable plot and open space. It currently houses nine adults aged 21-49, with various occupations, who pay rent to the co-operative.
The collective was facing eviction after South West Water decided to sell the property.
“We thought that was going to be the end,” said Mr van Berkel. “But with the help of Co-operative and Community Finance, Radical Routes, Triodos Bank and a very generous individual, we managed to negotiate and complete the purchase of the property.”
The co-op hosts live music events and workshops, and now it has acquired the premises, it aims to build an even stronger link with the local community.
Co-operative and Community Finance has been providing loans to co-ops, employee-owned businesses and social enterprises since 1973. It acts as a revolving fund, to which money is repaid and lent again.
Investment manager Ian Rothwell said: “We had to move quickly to secure the future of the cottage and I’m very glad we did.
“Spiral is a housing co-op that uses the model rules developed by Radical Routes, and that is how they came to hear about us.
“I think there is a good synergy between Radical Routes and Co-operative and Community Finance. Both organisations have a total commitment to helping people take control – whether it is their living space or their work place. And both organisations insist on genuine mutuality and co-operation.”
In this article
- British co-operative movement
- Business models
- Commercial Banks
- community activist
- Consumers' co-operative
- housing co-operative
- Housing cooperative
- housing crisis
- Ian Rothwell
- investment manager
- Real estate
- The Co-operative
- Tim van Berkel
- Triodos Bank
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories