The Roco opened last November, offering 15 studios, galleries, a deli, bookshop, cafe and design store in a set of Georgian and early Victorian terraced buildings on Glossop Road near Sheffield University. All of the studios are now fully occupied with a mix of businesses, including graphic design and architecture firms.
Three houses are presently being used, and now the ambition is to develop the remaining four properties to open 25 more studio spaces and the Maker Shed, aimed at giving small companies room to manufacture products.
The Roco will need to raise £200,000 to pay for the work through community shares. Over the last two years, the same method has been used to generate a further £200,000 - in that time, £1.2 million was also pledged towards the project by the Key Fund, Co-op Community Finance and Big Issue Invest.
Shares are available from £200. Five per cent interest is offered on the investment, a return which can be withdrawn after four years.
Andrea Burns, Roco’s chief executive, said: “This is a really exciting time for us. As a community benefit company we have been able to raise significant investment through community shares, where people have looked at our model and seen a more ethical and community-focused way to invest their money.”
Andrea said Roco had the potential to be a ‘significant cultural asset’. Visit www.theroco.org for more details.