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Whatcombe Fields launches Frome’s first community shares scheme

Frome Mayor, cllr Peter Macfadyen, has bought the first community share in Whatcombe Fields.

The campaign, organised by Save Open Spaces Frome, began life last summer to buy the 34 acres of land on the edge of Frome, inviting the community to club together and save it from development.

On Christmas Eve SOS Frome launched an on-line platform to enable local residents to buy community shares and give donations.

Peter Macfadyen, from Independents for Frome said, “This is an amazing opportunity to get together as a community and ensure this beautiful land continues to be enjoyed for walking and leisure now and by future generations. The UK has already lost over 97% of its meadow land since World War Two. I urge everyone who can to support this important project.”

Anna Francis who is helping to coordinate the campaign added, “One of the things I love about Frome is that it has the best of both worlds – a thriving town with lots going on, surrounded by beautiful countryside which so many of us love to walk in and enjoy.

“There are lots of examples around the country where communities have got together to buy land through community shares. We know we can do this, we just need everyone to  now get behind the campaign.”’

The project has already raised over £20,000 in the first few days and has until the 20th February to raise the £330,000 needed. Shares and donations can be bought on-line or by cheque to SOS Frome c/o Frome Town Council, 5 Palmer St, BA11 1DS. No share money will be taken until the total is reached by the 20th February.

Frome Town Council, SOS Frome and Frome Renewable Energy Co-op are also organising a free workshop on community shares on Thursday 22nd January, 7.00pm upstairs at the Cheese and Grain in Market Yard. The workshop will explain how community shares work including examples from similar projects around the country.

To find out more about the Whatcombe Fields campaign and invest visit: