East Marsh Community Limited – community share offer for the purchase, refurbishment and ethical letting of affordable community owned housing in Grimsby
Ben Wrigley, 28 March 2022
The statistics are pretty grim. Grimsby’s East Marsh is one of the most deprived wards in England with problems of low educational attainment, low employment, high numbers of lone parents, and high “in-work” and pensioner poverty. The East Marsh is ranked at 25 out of 32,844 in the Index of Multiple Deprivation, where one is the most deprived. Life expectancy on the East Marsh is ten years less than that in neighbouring wards.
East Marsh United (EMU) is a community group from the East Marsh of Grimsby, dedicated to transforming the area where they live. This started with the group clearing alleys and sweeping streets and developed into an organisation promoting education, employment, arts, and community engagement. The directors also realised they needed to take a hands-on approach to tackling the empty homes problem – where boarded up houses induced more crime and disorder in their community. They therefore formed a community benefit society – East Marsh Community Limited (EMC) - and got to work. With the support of North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) they took ownership of three houses, refurbished them to a high standard, and are now letting them to East Marsh families at affordable rates. But they wanted to do more.
Resonance was introduced to EMU and NELC by mutual friends in Grimsby and the idea for a community share offer was conceived. The team decided to work with Ethex, and the share offer was launched in March 2022 with the aim of raising £500,000 to fund the purchase and refurbishment of 10 more homes. The directors intend to pay a return to their investors and have set a target rate of interest of 4%.
From my perspective, it has been an absolute pleasure working with this group who are dedicated to changing the area they’re from and the very streets where they live. They have a track record, with three homes already let to local families, and a sensible plan to scale up. The housing crisis is exacerbated by empty homes and this grass roots model is one that works and could be replicated across the country. EMC will hold local homes in community ownership in perpetuity and aim to improve housing conditions for all as an active and ethical community landlord. In my opinion this makes for a business model which is highly impactful and one that can also generate a return for socially minded investors.
Information on the share offer and how to invest are available through the links below:
Capital at risk and returns not guaranteed
By purchasing community shares issued by EMC you may lose some or all of the money you invest. Returns on investment are not guaranteed. Investors are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (as you would be with a savings account), and do not have recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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