Bristol Wood Recycling Project reaches fundraising target.

Social enterprise Bristol Wood Recycling Project (BWRP) has raised the funds it needs to buy its new premises – hitting its £430,000 target in just a fortnight.

The co-op launched the bond offer, to buy its new base in the city’s St Philip’s district, on 28 January via Triodos Bank’s crowdfunding platform.

Co-founder and director Ben Moss said: “We did it! All of us here at BWRP are over the moon – and beyond – that in just over two weeks since publicly launching the bond offer, we have raised the £430,000 necessary to buy our home.

This is the most affirming thing that could happen for us – that our community, from far and wide, are committing their faith in us, investing in our future.”

He added: “As we approach our 15th birthday, this is a dream come true – that we can secure our home and continue our work for the benefit of the community and the planet, for future generations. Thank you Triodos Bank for your support through this, and thank you to all our financial supporters – great and small – for believing in our future.”

Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at Triodos, said: “We are delighted to see the team at BWRP achieve their goal, and proud that both Bristol and our crowdfunding community have supported them to make their dream a reality. The impact they have within Bristol is fantastic and we’re excited to see this organisation go from strength-to-strength. Supporting social enterprises is an important part of our what we do, and anyone who missed out on investing in BWRP can sign up to our crowdfunding site to be alerted on future investment opportunities.”

Prior to moving into its current premises, the co-op rented a site on Cattle Market Road for 13 years. The larger site in St Philip’s features two entrance points, enabling separate access for collections and for clients, and boasts a self-contained yard that provides the ideal space for storing the waste wood collected. The additional space will also give the co-op the opportunity to expand and save costs.

Founded in 2004, BWRP works with 40 volunteers to collect, repurpose and sell wood that would otherwise go to waste – saving 500 tonnes from landfill every year.

Those volunteers, who include people dealing with long-term unemployment, substance abuse, learning disabilities or mental health issues, are also able to gain valuable work experience and the chance to boost their confidence.

The above article by Anca Voinea first published on thenews.coop in Feb, 2019.