From banking to radical bookselling

Interesting news comes through from Southampton, where the very long-established radical bookshop October Books has just raised the funding to purchase an old branch of NatWest, enabling it to move to larger premises and create extra space for community activities. The purchase has come about following a very successful campaign to find almost half a million pounds, which has included community loan stock, crowd funding, personal loans and gifts, and a loan from Co-operative & Community Finance (whose press release has alerted me to the story).

October Books was for many years run as a workers’ co-op but in the past two years has restructured, with committed customers who are prepared to do some volunteering also able to become members of the co-op. (Thank you to Martin Meteyard who has sent me some more details about the membership arrangements).

You can access the CCF press release here, but a rather more unusual way of hearing how the bookshop ‘bought the bank’ is told in song form by singer-songwriter Jaquie Daniels here.