Our economic model

People doing exercise in front of Oxo and skyline

As an enterprise with a social purpose we generate income to invest in our neighbourhood. Our ambition is to remain financially independent so that we are here for generations to come, helping others to lead their own change. 

How we earn money

In the year ending March 2018, Coin Street earned £11.06m. More than three-quarters came from commercial activity such as letting spaces to restaurants, cafés, shops, and design studios; and hiring venues for conferences, meetings, exhibitions, street markets, car parking, filming and events.

All these activities create employment and provide services as well as generating vital income.

Many of our community activities are provided without charge but 13% of our income came from nursery fees, gym memberships, and similar charges. 3% came from payments by Lambeth and Southwark Councils for family support and similar services, and 1% came from grants. 

8% of our income came from lease charges and other payments by Coin Street housing co-operatives.

Where we spend money

36% of our expenditure went on the management and maintenance of our commercial spaces and the staff and contractors who operate our commercial activities.

Many of our staff are focused on the delivery of community activities and facilities. 41% of our expenditure goes on the management, maintenance and staffing of community and public services including our youth and community programmes, and our public realm. Historically, much of this provision would have fallen to local ratepayers to fund. Our social enterprise model means that Coin Street has ‘cross-subsidised’ this provision from commercial revenue.

17% of our spending is on the maintenance and support of our housing co-operatives,
including repaying the money we borrowed to build them.

6% of our expenditure goes on rates and taxes to local, regional, and national government.

A social enterprise is a business with social objectives. It combines entrepreneurial skills with strong social purpose. Profits are reinvested in the business or in the community, offering the possibility of effective, sustainable self-help leading to wider benefits. 

Social Enterprise Unit, Department of Trade and Industry 

In 1984 Coin Street Community Builders borrowed £1 million from the Greater London Enterprise Board and the Greater London Council to finance the purchase of our 13-acre site. These loans have now been repaid in full.

More recent developments have been funded by borrowing from banks and the Nationwide Building Society. Loans and interest are repaid from commercial and housing income.

2020 has been an extraordinary year for so many, including ourselves. But like many other small businesses and community organisations, we will recover, rebuild and reshape new opportunities and partnerships in a post Covid-19 London.