In April 2017 it will have been 40 years since Birmingham Friends of the Earth first moved into The Warehouse and 30 years since we purchased the building. The only way that we managed to raise the money to do this was through loans from our members and supporters and the inspiring dedication of the people that promoted it.
Today, we’re faced with new challenges that we need to raise money for. We want the building to become fully accessible, financially self sustaining and carbon neutral. We’ve got the structural engineering calculations, planning permission, building control notice, architects drawings, business plan and desire to transform The Warehouse to meet our vision. The one thing that we’re missing is the money to do it.
That’s why we’re planning to revisit our roots and ask our supporters to invest in our future for the next 30 years. We hope that it will be just as democratic as our initial fundraising all those years ago and give you a real stake in what we do. You won’t just be financial supporters or customers, but a member and owner of one of Birmingham’s leading environmental organisations.
We’re telling you about this now because we’ve just received a grant to test our business plan and make sure we’ve got everything in place before the offer goes out next year. Big Potential are funding us to work with the Plunkett Foundation who have a real expertise in testing business plans and preparing community share issues.
There’s a lot of work to be done to prepare all of this, which is why we don’t expect to release it until next year. However, we would be delighted if you signed up to help us spread the word after it launches and even happier if you expressed interest as a potential investor.