Dragons is a thriving yet small housing co-op, with three members, 2 cats and 2 enterprises under one roof. We are a home, a business and a hub for a march larger community. Situated in the Tanat and Cain valley area, a beautiful and vibrant albeit lesser known part of Wales.
Dragons is also part of a bigger family of co-ops: Permanent Housing Co-op also in Llanrhaeadr and Tan Y Fron which is in Meifod about 8 miles away. We share a common root in permaculture and co-operation and playing an active part in this wider community. We work together as best we can to support mutual ambitions, hosting visitors and volunteers, courses and events as well as own building work, paper work and hatching new projects.
As a group our common roots go back to Chickenshack housing co-operative near Tywyn in Gwynedd. This was the start of our permaculture journey in 1995 and the beginnings creating a permaculture community in Mid Wales, working together to create positive change as well as opportunities for ourselves and prospective members to pursue fulfilling careers.
Dragons was registered as a fully mutual housing co-op in May 2015 and we moved in formally on the 1st August 2015.. so we are still only in our 4th year but are slowly finding our feet as a community.
A fully mutual co-op means it is managed solely by the tenants that live there and pay rent and there are no outside controls other than meeting standard legal and financial responsibilities. Members set the rent and decide how to use any surpluses and plan for the longer term future of the co-op.
Dragons co-op is a limited company, which mean the member’s financial liability is restricted to the £1.00 non-returnable share they purchase on joining. This is important as it protects members from potential financial liability and ensures risk is contained by the company not of the tenants/ members.
Becoming a full member is a gradual process, with no hard deadlines. The outline is that new members a legally prospective members until they formally apply for full membership therefore becoming a director of the co-op.
A prospective member may apply for full membership at the earliest after 3 months of residence and the co-op will provide a clear answer within a maximum of 12 months.
The aim is to empower people to become full members in an appropriate time scale, without hard deadlines as experience tells us every instance is unique in its own way.
Creativity is important and we want to support people who want to find their own path to making a living especially those with a dedication to environment, permaculture, community and local economy. Dragons is more than a home, it is a catalyst for creativity, and community a chance to explore options, alternatives and to live in a mutually supportive caring environment.
Dragons is governed by Radical Routes model rules for a fully mutual co-op and our secondary rules are based in the ethics and principles of permaculture. We aim to support the development of other co-ops and to enable other interested parties to explore sustainable pathways, while our core aim of course it to provide affordable, environmentally responsible housing governed by a democratic social landlord.
There is an opening for 1 maybe 2 new members between now and September 1st and we are open to hearing from interested parties. There is no investment required, beyond your £1.00 share and of course rent +bills which is currently at £350 + £30 pcm.
In line with our ethics Dragons is powered 100% by renewable energy, a mix of green tariff electricity and locally sustainably sourced fuel logs. We joint buy wholefoods from Suma Co-operative and keep a stock of their products in the shop, there is an organic veg shop near by. We also have an allotment and a part of a local community orchard project.
Dragons is currently home to or involved with these and other enterprises and projects
- Dragons Gifts and Craft shop
- Sector39 permaculture tuition and project development
- Extinction Rebellion, linked to our local group
- BRACE, community response to climate emergency
- Cae Bodfach community garden: Our community heritage orchard
- One School One Planet, Sector39’s lead project
- Llanfyllin Green hub
- Llanfyllin Workhouse
- Radical Routes:housing co-op network