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Issue 312 – Buy a piece of Somerset for Christmas

A new scheme has been launched to help people in Somerset buy land for food production.

A share offer has been issued for Somerset Land For Food, a new non-profit society which raises money to buy land for growing food.
An undersupply of allotments and the expense of buying cultivatable land can frustrate the ambitions of community groups or smallholders who want to produce more food locally. When land does come up for sale at auction, it may take a community group too long to organise fund-raising, thereby missing the chance to bid.
Now people have a chance to invest in shares in Somerset Land for Food, a Community Benefit Society , creating a pot of available money to bid for land as soon as it becomes available for sale.
This is how it works:
(i) the share offer is open to investments in shares of between min. £100 – max. £20,000 (people can group together to buy shares e.g. 5x £20 )
(ii) share capital is used to buy land, which is then rented at low rates by SLFF to community groups or growers wishing to produce local food
(iii) tenants may eventually buy the land outright, releasing more capital for further land purchase
(iv) the use of the land is protected in law – it may only be used to grow food
(v) shareholders can withdraw their capital after a minimum of two years, or begin to be paid interest of 2% on their investment
The target for the share issue is £100,000 to start the community land pool in Somerset. If less capital is raised, the company will buy less land.
The share offer closes on 30th November. For more information and for a share application form, visit www.wessexca.co.uk or call one of SFFL’s Directors: Kim Robinson (Chair) 01749 689037; Paul and Sarah Sander-Jackson (secretary) 01458 833489; Jane Birch 01823 442442; Peter Millar 01458 223444; Dan Keech 01373 451402

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