Community Shares – genuine local investment

Three Seas is set up to take private investment from individuals, (residents or visitors) in the form of Community Shares. This gives people a genuine part-ownership in the new housing, and the right to be consulted on its operation and future.

Raising the initial cost

  • Grants. We can get grant support from central Government, Cornwall Council and some specific funders (eg for green energy). We have had excellent responses from the potential funders, with £1.4 million allocated to us in principle at the time of writing (early March 2024). We are confident that we can raise the remaining grant/loan amount in the next three months.
  • Community shares. We are registered as a “Community Benefit Society” – a community cooperative – which allows us to raise private investment from individuals. The process is fully defined and documented: we have a separate proposal with all the details, available at Our target for the shares is £250,000; the campaign launches on 23rd March 2024.
  • Loan finance. There are a number of specialist lenders in the UK who support community-led housing. We will have a guaranteed income from the rents, so can offer security for a long-term mortgage to fill any remaining gap on the cost. Our current calculations suggest that £250k in loan finance will be needed; this will reduce if the community shares campaign raises more than estimated.

Further details on our income sources are given in Appendix D

Grant money

Homes England. This is the Government’s housing support agency. Our regional officer has visited the flats and has agreed that the project is viable and worth funding; we have an outline approval for £720k and are currently working on the detail of the application.

Cornwall Council. The Council has specific grant programmes for community-led housing. We are working very well with the Affordable Housing Team to access the appropriate grants; we have outline approvals for a total of £660k and are working on the details.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund. This is a specialist Lottery fund for heritage and history projects. We are making a first approach to them for grant support on the rebuild of the flats.

The Shared Prosperity Fund. This is a govt programme to improve local areas. They have specific grants for energy efficiency and retrofitting old buildings; we are working on the application.

Architectural Heritage Fund. The AHF are a highly-respected support organisation for the UK’s heritage sector, providing grants, loans and a range of expertise to community groups like ours. We are delighted that the Fund has actively engaged with us on this project and our developing plans.

Community Shares

We have a full “Community Shares” campaign, with a national reach, to ask private individuals to invest in the Coastguard Flats. People can see their money doing good in the local community and earn a modest return once we are in profit – we are aiming for an annual interest rate of 3% once the flats are refurbished and generating rental income. We want to raise at least £250,000 from community shares. We have published a separate prospectus for the Community Shares offer

Loan finance

We have a viable project that will generate income long-term. From a lender’s point of view, housing, especially in an area of high demand, is a safe investment that pays a regular return. This means that long-term loans are readily available, with specific lenders in the charity/community sector who offer good support and low interest rates. We will, of course, seek out grant funding as our preference, but we will use loans as needed.