The CCPS management committee have received confirmation that whilst our initial bid for Community Ownership Fund (COF) investment was considered to be eligible and met the selection criteria, we were not one of the successful 21 bids across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in this first round (letter attached). Only 4 pubs were successful this time around, however there are a further seven rounds.
We remain undeterred and have been encouraged by the respective Government Department to reapply for funding during the second round of COF investment allocations (opening for applications in December).
We are committed to strengthening our bid and supporting documents between now and the launch of the next round of bidding in December 21. Initial analysis has indicated some key differences to our initial strategy. Predominantly, the successful bids launched and in the majority of cases, achieved their targets in advance of funding application. We believe this is a key lesson which we should learn from and take advantage of.
Our intention remains to launch the share offer in November as planned. This will allow us to complete the share offer in advance of our December application for COF investment. Alongside this we will be launching the Website and new Facebook page, which we have been building over the last few months and will use as the principal communications hub where you can review all documentation including the Share offer and Business plans and we will post regular updates!
We will also spend some time carefully considering alternative sources of funding, in case we are not successful in our second COF bid. This will include exploring the possibility of securing a public works loan, alongside other sources of local and national funding (Richmondshire District Council’s Community Investment Fund for example). This will continue in parallel to the second round bid application.
In the meantime, we will also continue to work with the pub team to build on the success so far achieved. Our sincere thanks to the pub’s current management for their continued support!
The COF setback will certainly not scupper the CCPS mission – we are still committed to securing the future of The Countryman’s Inn through community ownership.
Finally, we’d like to reiterate how grateful we are for all of your support so far, attending fundraisers and making donations, but we MUST keep up the momentum and build even greater community support. If you would like to get involved with the CCPS management committee, or with fundraising, please do get in touch! We’re a friendly bunch. Plus – our hybrid (in person and online) meetings are held in the pub!