Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust

Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust photo

Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust’s story:

SWCD was instrumental in initiating Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust (SCCLT) to help create more affordable housing for people in housing need. From the outset it was clear that the people wanted not only community-led housing, but support for developing community enterprises as well. As a result, SCCLT became a unique blend of co-operative social housing, with high tenant involvement, and developer of community enterprise hubs.

From our initial leading role in forming SCCLT, South West Co-operative Development, has helped develop it from a group of concerned people to a property owner and developer, providing much needed community-led affordable housing and co-operative enterprise hubs in Somerset.

Along the way we have supported them with a wide range of consultancy and project management services including business planning, financial modelling, operational support, capacity building, share offers, and loan finance – raising over: £950k of community shares; £570k in loans; and £250k in grants.

Today following a recent capacity building project, SCCLT, has a highly professional but still community-led board, that will lead it on to the next stages and establish it as the foremost provider of community-led affordable housing and community enterprise facilities in the County.


  • 2013: First property bought in Taunton, converting the upstairs into affordable rent flats and the ground floor into a co-operative hub.
  • 2018: Purchase of second property (with garden adjoining the first).
  • 2020: Planning application for 8 new homes at rear of these two properties in central Taunton. A share offer raises in £195k in loan stock and £345k of Community Shares, enabling the purchase of a second site at Wiveliscombe, as well as funding work on existing properties and the Taunton scheme.
  • 2021: May – SCCLT buys their second site in Wiveliscombe.
  • 2021: November – SWCD helps secure a £173k Community Housing Fund grant to pay for feasibility and other pre-development work at Wiveliscombe site, and initiate capacity building for the group.
  • 2022: Planning application submitted for 25 affordable homes and a community enterprise unit at Wiveliscombe.

What we thought about working with SCCLT

It has been great to see and support SCCLT going from a small group of volunteers doing DIY to create the first affordable homes on an older property, to having over 30 new build affordable homes in the pipeline, and the prospect of being an established provider of community led social housing in the Somerset area.

Steve Howell – Lead Co-operative Development Consultant

What SCCLT thought about working with us

We have worked with Alex and Steve from South West Co-operative Development on various projects. One of the main things was helping us to run a community share offer which allowed us to purchase land in Wiveliscombe and continue planning our build in Taunton. This is really beneficial to the community as both areas have an urgent need for truly affordable housing.

The idea of doing this seemed very daunting, but with the support of SWDC our share offer was very successful, bringing in a big influx of investment and members, both in Somerset and further afield.

David Leech – Director of SCCLT

To find out more about Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust:

South West Co-operative Development Limited
Registered as a Community Benefit Society: 31193R
Registered office address:
10 East Reach,
Office phone: 0300 456 2265