The Lancaster Club

A local business-to-business network owned and run by and for its members.

Local Loop Lancaster & Morecambe is working to establish a ‘clearing club’ of local MTCS business users.

The Local Loop Lancaster & Morecambe team are providing the technical infrastructure and support services that make this possible. From decades of experience with multilateral obligation set-off in Slovenia, we know that we need a ‘critical mass’ of around one hundred SMEs with three or four local trades per month with other members. Our local conveners, Tanya Harris and Peter Walmsley, are now recruiting for the Phase 1 trial to reach this milestone (see the roadmap for full details).

The aim of the trial is to determine which Lancaster and Morecambe businesses could benefit from membership, and monitor the network so we know when we’ve reached critical mass. Participating in the trial costs nothing, and we’ll provide you with regular estimates of the potential monthly benefit to your business.

Once we have the data we need to be sure that the network is viable, we’ll invite trial participants to sign up for clearing real invoices. For this service there will be a £10 monthly membership charge, plus a 0.5% fee on amounts of debt cleared (both VAT-included). Discounts will be available to members of partner business networks.

These fees will cover the club’s operating costs, including our support services. Because the club is constituted as a mutual owned by its members, they will always be able to participate in decisions such as whether to lower the fees, or retain us as service providers. Club participation and management is underpinned by a simple members' legal agreement.

More members typically means more invoice loops and hence more debt reduction for all participants, supporting community wealth. We expect that on average, participants will initially cancel out about 10% of their invoices with other members. This could increase to as much as 25% (again, on average) as the network becomes larger and more diverse. The app will provide an easy way to invite other local businesses you think would like to get involved.