The community-owned cinema in Telford, Wellington Orbit is gearing up for expansion with a community share offer, launching to the public this week.
The concept of being funded by the local community is familiar to the cinema, having been originally launched this way back in 2013. Locals, and not so local supporters such as Ken Loach.
Over 800 members have now invested in Wellington Orbit which kickstarted the ‘Save the Clifton’ project and Six years later, a Cinema and Café opened in the heart of the town. The ‘Phase II’ project aims to see the rest of the building open to the public.
On the back of the recent Levelling Up Fund (LUF) bid for £1.4m to acquire the freehold of the building and develop the upper floors into a multi-use arts centre, Wellington Orbit needs to find around £143,000 of match funding.
Ray Hughes, Finance Director said “Having spent the last two months working on the bid, we have already had new investment from existing members. This has put us in a great position in terms of the bid match-funding requirement, should we be successful. If we are not we will need the match funding amount to at least secure the freehold.
“Social Investing is unlike buying shares in a company in three main ways. Firstly, shares attract no dividend payments which company shares may do. This ensures money is kept in and for Wellington. Secondly, regardless of how many shares an individual owns, one member gets one vote. This helps protect the organisation and the cinema from who may have their own agenda. Finally, buying shares, even just at the minimum investment level of just £10 is a personal declaration that you support our aim of making Wellington a better place for the whole community.
“Our LUF matched target is £143,000 and we have just hit £114,000 after only 10 weeks from current members. The Share Offer will run until the end of November 2022 and each new member really helps us prove the demand for the facilities we’re planning to offer and supports our contingency planning.”
It’s simple to buy shares in Wellington Orbit, you don’t need a stockbroker or a share dealing account to acquire your share certificate. Simply complete an application form on the website wellingtonorbit.co.uk and pay for your shares by bank transfer or drop in and pay over the counter. Please also note that if you are already a member you are able to buy further shares as part of this offer to support the expansion of the business.
For more information on the scheme, please visit www.wellingtonorbit.co.uk/community-share-offer/