Venture aims to boost local economy with ‘micro investors’

The SalthouseSomerset based Saltbox is asking local residents and businesses to back a new community venture that aims to help the local economy and provide a cost-effective community resource for the area.

The Salthouse, based in Nunney, near Frome, will provide a much-needed facility for training, exhibitions, events and community learning in the area and aims to generate business in Somerset.  The Salthouse will offer local companies, charities, therapists and artists a flexible venue where they can hold meetings, courses and one-to-one sessions.

Nicki Davey, Director of Saltbox explains why she is setting up the centre: “After 20 years of running training courses and events, I’ve found a gap in the market for venues which offer a positive and fun environment for people to learn, connect and communicate. The Salthouse will give the community an accessible and cost-effective resource that is different to the usual bland corporate premises.”

Saltbox plan to finance the refurbishment of the centre through “crowdfunding,” rather than the traditional route of a bank loan. Crowdfunding is a means of getting support for projects from a group of people and organisations. Instead of one or two institutions supplying the funding, crowd funding provides lots of people a return on a small investment.

Crowdfunding offers individuals and organisations in Somerset the chance to be part of a unique project for minimal risk. The Saltbox aims to raise £6,000 for the building works of the premises in Nunney. But you can support the Salthouse for as little as £20 or £2000. In return, each investor receives a reward  – ranging from shiatsu treatment, meeting room hire, desk space or consultation, depending on the size of their support.

With today’s entrepreneurs needing affordable and fast ways of raising funds, Nicki Davey believes crowdfunding could revolutionise rural business and community ventures.

“We know that in the county, two of the biggest barriers to growth and productivity are finance and affordability of appropriate premises. Somerset is full of people with good ideas but in today’s financial climate, it’s hard to turn these into reality. Crowdfunding is a fresh way of making great ideas happen, and the community can watch the project grow and own its success.”

So far, a range of different people and businesses have invested in the Salthouse project, with pledges ranging from £20-£100. The deadline for raising these funds is 22nd September – you can find out more and back the project by going to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/investment/the-salthouse-307

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