In some discussions I have had this week the topic has revolved around the ability of black people to pool finances together to support community buildings and projects. This in my personal case hAs to involve a building which caribbean people in a town of the UK use for christenings, weddings and birthday celebrations.

I aim to put a proposal together to bid for the building rather than let another ethnicity purchase the building and rent it back to us West Indians and Africans. I am aware there are some business people who would be interested in buying the building if it could make business sense, though I am looking to raise finance for it so if the black people of the town could say put a pound or something in then the businesses get together in a consortium and cover a large proportion of the cost then this would be part of the way to purchasing the building, so it can continue to be used within the community.

The process I will take will be the following:

Enquiring with the local authority how much the building would cost to purchase.

Ask the West Indian community organisation if they have thought about using their funds or fund raising to purchase the building.

Officially enquire if there are any other black businesses interested in buying the businesses.

Put together a proposal for a syndicate and see if the black businesses would come together to purchase the building.

See how other black organisations in the town would be able to get involved in the project by raising funds so that the businesses can cover some of the price but the community covers the rest.

The plan would cover some of the following:

The history of the building
How the community has used it over the years
The activities which are currently undertaken at the centre
The proposal of a consortium leading the running and operation of the centre
The costs associated with the running of the building
How more activities could be undertaken at the building
The benefits to the community
The benefits to the stakeholders
A return on investment for stakeholders
The barriers to purchasing this building
Further use and development of the building
Finally, what would happen if this building is not purchased by black people.

The paper would then be distributed to potentially interested parties and used to create a fundraising platform.

This blog is used to demonstrate what happens in the Caribbean and black community in the UK. Division between islands means for the bigger picture we cannot put differences and create a cooperative. This approach should possibly be followed or one similar at least in the local community.

Like I’ve written in previous blogs I don’t think enterprise can solve all our social, economic and environmental problems but two of the three can be combined to make a huge difference in a community.

I just hope one of two things these plans are put to one side and someone has done exactly this or I can be of assistance where possible using this approach to gain more support to this initiative in the local area. I’m a planner by nature so, we’ll see how this works out.

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