PEOPLE with a bit of spare cash are being asked to help create town centre flats as well as homes on a disused brewery site "for people who need them".

Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust (SCCLT) has launched a share offer to raise up to £534,000 for the eco-developments. So far more than £100,000 has been raised.

The cash will fund eight affordable one-bedroom flats in East Reach, Taunton, where the trust already owns five units, and the purchase of the brewery site in Wiveliscombe for sustainable and affordable homes and workspace.

The offer runs until October 14, with people able to donate anything from £1 upwards, although only sums over £50 earn interest.

As well as the community owned homes, that will be working hubs for local community enterprises that create jobs, deploy green technology and deliver quality services.

SCCLT operations manager Alex Lawrie said the plans intend to address the root cuases of social problems rather than simply managing them.

He said: "Many people won’t have come across community shares before, but it is really just what it sounds like - a way to invest money that you can afford to be without, in a project that will use it to develop your local area and then return it with interest as soon as possible when you request a withdrawal.

"Everyone taking part has a vote, so you can make sure the project is run sensibly by people you trust."

The scheme will allow people struggling to afford property a way to rent secure, affordable homes with a built-in sense of community through communal amenities such as garden spaces, metting rooms and shared laundry.

The proposal also feature a vegetable growing area and rooftop greenhouse for early cultivation of fruit and vegetables.

There are also plans for a renewable energy generation scheme to reduce running cost for tenants and an electric vehicle sharing scheme for residents and the wider community. providing a community charging point powered by solar.

Alan Debenham, chairman of SCCLT, said: "The excitement in this project is that for the first time we’re doing an entirely new build, so we can put into the design all the eco innovations we want and at the same time make sure that the flats are at the right price for single people and new households."

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