About Us

The Leiston Community Land Trust (CLT) is a Benefit Society, a not for profit organization. It was started by a small group of Leiston residents who passionately saw a real need to regenerate the town centre whilst at the same time building on the rich heritage of a unique, former industrial engineering Suffolk town.

What is a Land Trust and who are the Trustees?

Leiston CLT formed in 2019 following a Neighbourhood Plan and a scoping report commissioned by the Town Council and its partners. These reports recognised that Leiston would benefit significantly from town centre redevelopment. This focused particularly in and around the land between the High Street, Sizewell Road and Eastwood Ho. The reports reinforced the need for a mix of uses (residential, retail and community) that could serve to draw more people into the town centre, therefore helping to revitalise it.

The reports also identified that a community land trust would be the most appropriate institutional structure to take the development forward to ensure that a comprehensive scheme is introduced. This would ultimately own or have control over the non-privately owned parts of the scheme.

Key Attributes

As a community benefit society, Leiston CLT has a number of key attributes:

  • It has limited liability.
  • It operates on a not-for-private-profit basis.
  • The CLT is owned by its individual members and run democratically on a one member, one vote basis.
  • All operating surpluses can be utilised only for reinvesting in the trust or for distribution into the community for charitable purposes.
  • Finally, it operates an asset lock, whereby in the event of dissolution and after payment of all debts and repayment of share capital (at the nominal price), any surplus must be distributed for charitable purposes.

Specific Objectives

Leiston CLT's aims are ambitious. They aim to create a sustainable and economically vibrant town centre; one that is well planned and designed to meet the current and future needs of Leiston and its people. The specific objectives of the CLT include:

  • The provision of affordable homes.
  • The creation of a vibrant social, civic and commercial centre for Leiston.
  • Using high quality planning to link the town centre to the rest of the town.
  • Improving road safety in the town.
  • Making Leiston an attractive destination with positive impact on the local economy.

Leiston CLT expects that funding for this project will come from various sources, including:

  • Community shares purchased by individuals;
  • Grant making bodies, including local authorities;
  • Commercial finance.

Although the Leiston CLT plan is an ambitious and complex project with a long implementation period, the CLT recognises that its success will depend on building strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with the public and private sectors, and maintaining strong support from the community which will have a large input into the whole scheme.

You can add your support for the scheme by becoming a Leiston CLT member. For more details, see our contact page.


Our Trustees

Sammy Betson (Chair of the Board)

I started in Suffolk at Felixstowe Grammar School, later undertaking a role at Ipswich ITeC Services. I then moved on to Coastal Accessible Transport Services (CATS) delivering vital transport services to the community. Having been instrumental in the development of the Neighbourhood Plan when I was a Town Councillor, I'm now privileged to be the Chair of the Community Land Trust and look forward to delivering positive change for Leiston.

Simon Merrett

I am an architect and I have lived in Leiston with my family for 40 years. I would not wish to live anywhere else. Its unique heritage means that Leiston is well placed to become a thriving town again. Because of my work with the CLT I feel I can make a positive contribution towards helping the town realise its potential to become a brilliant place to live, work and visit.

Philip Edwards

I was eight years old when I was first introduced to the joys of East Suffolk by visiting my grandparents' caravan. Like so many others, I fell in love with the place. It was no surprise then that after retiring from a successful career steering my Bedfordshire based family removals business, I took the opportunity to move permanently to the area. I look forward to driving positive change in the town.

Rev. Jim Florance

I was born and bred in Suffolk. Prior to being ordained by the Church of England as a priest in 1984, I was a building and quantity surveyor for 20 years working in various parts of the UK. After retirement I returned to Suffolk in 2010 and now live in Leiston. I have been involved with various 'Regeneration' projects for over 30 years. I am really pleased to be involved in the regeneration of our town centre.

Lesley Hill

I have lived in Leiston since 1978 and worked as a teaching assistant at Leiston Primary School. I have been involved in voluntary work in the town for over 35 years. In 2015 I was elected a Town Councillor and have served as Chairman for the last 4 years. As Council's representative on the Community Land Trust I was proud to support plans to enhance our town for the benefit of the community, businesses and visitors.

Bing Boast

I moved to Leiston in 1973 as a front line ambulance officer with my young family. My two daughters both attended Leiston Schools, with my disabled son attending special needs education. My disabled son led to a change of career and in 1989 I opened a care home for Elderly Learning Disabled for ten aged residents to become part of the community after 50/60 years in institutions. Following my retirement I was elected to the Town Council and joined the CLT as a trustee. I plan to help promote the town's caring, supportive community that readily welcomed those disabled residents.

Russ Rainger

I have been enjoying the East Suffolk coast as a visitor for many years and moved to Snape for work in 2007. I'm engaged in a number of local programmes; I have the privilege of being the Suffolk County Councillor for the Aldeburgh and Leiston Division as well as being a trustee at the Long Shop Museum. The prosperity and growth of Leiston and its surrounding parishes is something I feel strongly about and I therefore want to see the CLT deliver these significant changes.

Selena Levermore

Having lived in Leiston all my life, I'm passionate about our town and proud of the great community it supports. Following a career in banking, I have raised my family and enjoyed a number of volunteering roles, in GirlGuiding, as a School Governor and a Town Councillor. As a new Council representative on the CLT, I am pleased to be able to support the momentum for change and the Town Centre regeneration project, for the benefit of our community.


If you are interested in joining the Community Land Trust either as a member or a Trustee, please get in touch.

Keep in touch and stay informed
Come and visit us at 22 Sizewell Road, Leiston.

Contact Us
07311 878605
leistonclt@outlook.com
22 Sizewell Road,
Leiston
Suffolk IP16 4BA
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