Advice and Consultancy

We are supporting a wide range of collectives with a specific focus on Co-operatives, Community Benefit Societies and Community-Led Housing Groups (Housing Co-ops or Community Land Trusts).

We offer general advice as well as specialist consultancy support from the very early stages and throughout the development of a project. We are always happy to answer small queries on a pro bono basis or discuss any issues your project might be facing.

We put a strong emphasis on working with clients so you don’t have to keep relying on specialist advice going forward. Co-ops are about what the members want and so we won’t come in and tell you what you should be doing. Instead, we’ll come and listen to you, help you learn and find out what you need to know to be able to move your project forward, and we’ll provide support on the things that are most important to you.

We have developed a range of training useful to many types of co-ops. You can find more information on our training page.

Community-led and co-operative housing

Catalyst has been supporting community-led organisations since 1992 and has contributed to the sector through:

  • Lobbying for law changes
  • Developing and maintaining financial tools, how-to guides, etc.
  • Creating a range of model documents (rules, tenancies, etc.)
  • Developing new co-op models and financing mechanisms

We provide in-depth financial and legal expertise to a wide range of community-led housing schemes. We work with support organisations such as Radical Routes and Community-Led Housing Hubs, as well as with individual housing projects all across the UK. Specifically, we provide support with:

  • Choosing the right legal structure
  • Developing a financial strategy
  • Creating detailed and flexible financial projections (cash-flow, profit and loss, and balance sheet forecast)
  • Doing the financial appraisal of a particular project
  • Liaising with lenders, creating investment prospectus, developing a fund-raising strategy
  • Developing your business plan
  • Advising on financial regulations
  • Helping you understand your project finance (and general financial literacy)
  • Writing contracts and model documents (rules, loans, tenancies, etc.)
  • Working on developing sector-wide strategies and innovative financial mechanisms

Workers’ co-ops

We work with Acorn Co-op Support, Co-op Culture and The Hive to support workers and housing co-ops to make new business plans, do market research, find out about their customers and people they work with, make financial projections, and develop their businesses.