The Chance Heritage Trust intend to regenerate the Chance Glassworks site, an industrial heritage asset of national and international importance. The Chance Brothers Glassworks was one of the most important industrial employers in the Midlands for more than 150 years, playing a significant role in shaping Smethwick and the wider area. While the firm supplied glass for the construction of the Crystal Palace, its work in the design, production and installation of some 2,300 lighthouse lanterns around the world was arguably the company’s most significant contribution.
The Glassworks closed in the 1980’s and since then the site has fallen into disrepair. The Trust want to regenerate the site by creating a vibrant urban community generating employment, housing, learning, training and leisure for the benefit of the community through the creation of hundreds of jobs bringing new businesses, new homes and new visitors to the site.
Co-operative Futures has worked with the Trust to change them from a charity to a charitable community benefit society, this gives them the advantage of being to put the ownership and control of the Trust directly into the hands of the community. Alongside this Co-operative Futures supported the them to prepare and launch a community share issue to raise the money needed for the early development costs of the site.
“We worked closely with Jo White of Co-operative Futures and she was a pleasure to work with. Jo clearly understood the issues and challenges we need to overcome and supported us through the whole process. I am sure we wouldn’t have achieved the Community Shares Standard Mark and produced a high quality share offer without her sterling efforts and perseverance” – Mark Davies, Chair