Co-operative News: Urban tree surgeon co-op raises £100,00021/11/2012
A co-operative of urban tree surgeons can realise their full potential as they have seen their community share issue pass the £100,000 milestone.
The Greater Manchester TreeStation, a sustainable environmentally friendly woodland management co-op, is only the second such enterprise in the UK. The community share issue, launched with support from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, will be used to increase the capacity and reliability of the local biomass supply chain.
The share issue, which requires a minimum investment of £200 to co-owned this ethically-driven enterprise, is set to close on 30 November 2012. TreeStation estimate paying a return of five per cent to investors with surplus profits used to support wider social and environmental goals including reducing the community’s carbon footprint and providing training and stable employment opportunities.
Nick Torr, who has overall responsibility for treework at TreeStation, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the success of the community share issue, especially given the current economic situation. We have valuable local timber resource all around us, even in our urban environment, but it needs responsible management to help create the sustainable future our children deserve.”
“Surprising quantities of wood are still being wasted or poorly utilised and our aim is to up-cycle as far as possible. Timber from our own activities, and from other contractors, can be used to make sawn timber for joinery, firewood, and woodchip for biomass boilers. Nothing is wasted as anything left over is in demand for composting or use by allotment sites and gardeners.”
Additional investment will see it invest in an Oxtrac - a multi-task vehicle designed to operate in small, sensitive, woodlands with minimal impact.
TreeStation is amongst the first enterprises to benefit from the new scheme from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, the Community Share Fund – a £500,000 revolving fund underwriting community share issues.
Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, said: “Through the Co-operative Enterprise Hub we can provide the specific tools needed to enable communities to tackle local issues.”
• To find out more about the share issue, visit: www.treestation.co.uk/share-offer/