Following a very successful fundraising period (thanks to all for your support and generosity!), the CCG steering board has been working hard behind the scenes on a number of different tasks, including:
Asset of Community Value: The CCG have submitted a nomination to Richmondshire District Council to have The Countryman’s Inn listed as an Asset of Community Value. We await RDC’s response. More information about what this means can be found here: https://mycommunity.org.uk/what-are-assets-of-community-value-acv
Agreement of a sale price with the current owner: Taking into account a multitude of factors and sources of information (including an independent valuation and market appraisal report paid for by the CCG), the CCG steering board have made an offer to Anthony Jackson, the current owner of The Countryman’s Inn, which has been accepted subject to the usual due process and contract. We thank you for your patience regarding the release of these details to our membership. As you can appreciate, this information is highly commercially sensitive, and we will therefore release the relevant information within appropriate formal documentation in due course. The agreed sale price figure will be included in the CCG’s formal share offer document. This figure also informs the group’s business plan.
The steering board has instructed a local surveyor to carry out a full building survey of the pub premises, due to be completed over the next couple of weeks.
IF ANY OF OUR MEMBERS CAN RECOMMEND A COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLICITOR WITH EXPERIENCE IN PUB SALES, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!
Developing our business plan and incorporating into a Community Benefit Society: We are currently working with advisers from the Plunkett Foundation to finalise the two steps above, which will then allow us to create our formal share offer document and assemble a bid for match funding from the government’s forthcoming Community Ownership Fund. The group will most likely be renamed during the incorporation process as the ‘Countryman’s Community Pub Society Limited’.
Putting together a formal share offer: Our formal community share offer (prospectus) will hopefully launch in the next month or so. A ‘priority access’ window will be offered to those who ‘pledged in principle’ during our initial community consultation. Shares will then be made available to the wider community and general public for purchase. Our community shares investment ceiling is expected to be set at £230,000. Having already received ‘pledges in principle’ for community shares to a value of over £199,000, we advise potential shareholders to respond to the formal share offer promptly in order to secure their shares. We will of course contact pledgees as soon as we have a date for the formal community share launch, and upon the launch itself.
Preparing our bid to the Community Ownership Fund: For the funding we hope will complement our community share sales, we await the launch of the full prospectus and bid details for the government’s Community Ownership Fund, from which we will apply for match funding of circa. £230,000. Further information about our application to the COF will be included in the formal share offer document (prospectus). We expect our business plan, prospectus and evidence of community support to form a central part of our COF bid. We expect that the pledges in principle received will be of particular importance in evidencing the viability of our community ownership plans to the fund’s allocators.
Further fundraising: Thanks to generous donations from the CCG membership and the success of our Spring Bank Holiday fundraising efforts, the CCG currently have a working capital pot of £3,400. These funds will be used towards the cost of legally incorporating into a Community Benefit society, instructing a full building survey, and solicitors’ fees. However, we expect that these costs will run significantly over and above the value of our current pot, and therefore we plan to hold some further fundraising activities. Please keep an eye on your inboxes, postboxes, and the CCG’s Facebook Group for announcements.
With thanks and best wishes to all,
The CCG steering board.