Co-op venue Bread + Roses crowdfunds £20,000 in a week to save community space

The co-op’s stretch target of £30,000 would further secure the future of the member-owned cafe and venue

A co-operative community hub in Bradford has smashed its crowdfunding target of £20,000 to save the space from immediate closure, and is now seeking a stretch target of a further £10,000 to secure its future beyond 2023.

In just one week, 150 people have donated a combined total of over £10,000 which has been boosted by a further £10,000 from the Power to Change Crowdmatch Fund, to save the member-owned cafe and venue Bread + Roses.

Bread + Roses is a co-operative cafe, workspace, and community venue that aims to create a positive and supportive space for the people of Bradford to come together. The co-op also offers a programme of creative workshops and wellbeing events and provides volunteering opportunities for local people.

Bread + Roses is home to many different groups

This is the third public crowdfunder Bread + Roses has run since it was set up four years ago, having previously raised £2,500 and a further £10,000 from the community. 

Despite generating the majority of its income from its trading activities, Bread + Roses is dependent on grant funding for 20% of its revenue, which equates to around £40,000 a year. Though trading income has grown over recent years, grant funding has become harder for the co-op to secure, leading to the threat of closure for the venue. 

The campaign has sparked support from the city’s creatives, including producer and podcaster Richard Dunbar, who described Bread + Roses as one of Bradford’s “cultural gems” and said: “Bread + Roses defines a sense of community and what Bradford is really about, there’s so much going on here, from the sense of community, to the exhibitions, the campaigns that emerge here and the diversity of the people that you see.

“More importantly it’s really about what being co-operative stands for, it’s about community, it’s about looking after each other – and let’s not forget that’s what Bradford’s radical history, present and future is built on.”

Bread + Roses, North Parade, Bradford

Gina Riley, Bread + Roses officer, added: “I’m so pleased that we’ve managed to rescue Bread + Roses to not only safeguard peoples’ jobs and wellbeing but also to safeguard everyone connected in a wider sense across its communities. This place is a sanctuary for many and there’s no other place like it in Bradford. It is so important that we nurture and look after what we have built here, especially with Bradford winning city of culture recently. It would be such a shame to lose such a valuable asset to the city.”

Risograph printing – one of the services offered at Bread + Roses

The team is now aiming to raise another £10,000 to further safeguard the co-op’s future. Reaching their stretch target of £30,000 would give the co-op time to restructure and secure sustainable grant funding as a charitable community benefit society.

Ms Riley added: “It means so much to us to see the overwhelming support that Bread + Roses has received so far, we already knew that we made a mark on the local communities but the impact of that is shining now more than ever. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who have donated to the crowdfunder so far, every donation adds to the cause and helps us build towards a more sustainable future for the co-operative.”