It’s been six weeks since the launch of our offer of community shares in the Packhorse and we’ve now raised funds or firm commitments amounting to £393,350 [updated 22 August 2016] – over two thirds of the total required to buy the pub. Many thanks to all concerned!
In case that comes as a complete surprise, here’s the gist of what’s going on:
- the pub was closed and left empty four years ago; now the owner has agreed to sell it to us
- our community-based company has exchanged contracts with the owner; completion is due in September, subject to a successful fundraising campaign
- we need to raise £525,000 to buy the pub and then some more for refurbishment
- we hold pledges of nearly half this amount so we still face a huge challenge to raise the money to secure the pub and we need your help
- we plan to raise the money through selling shares to the people of South Stoke, Bath and beyond
- we have assembled an experienced team, prepared a credible business plan and are working with experts and B&NES planners to ensure a successful restoration and re-opening.
In parallel with the fundraising, we’re making tangible progress in saving the pub. Just in the last couple of weeks:
- we’ve had a very constructive meeting with a senior Conservation Officer from B&NES to discuss plans for refurbishment of the building – it highlighted to us all the opportunity we have to restore many features of this wonderful listed building, neglected for so long
- our pub garden restoration project continues – some unusual plants have been found there so we’re trying to preserve the good and clear the bad – volunteers meet each Wednesday evening so come along if you’re interested.
We’re going to hold another public meeting at 6:30pm on Saturday 10 September outside the pub and in South Stoke village hall to discuss progress and give shareholders and potential investors another opportunity to meet and question the team. We’ll publicise this more prominently nearer the time.
However, our key target remains raising the £525,000 required to complete the purchase of the pub as soon as we can. So if any of this is of interest:
Since our offer of community shares in the Packhorse went public just 3 weeks ago, we’ve received cash and commitments worth over £287,000. This is a significant first step towards the initial target of the £525,000 required to complete the purchase of the building. A huge thank you to all those who have committed so far!
This is great progress but we have a lot more to raise and don’t have much time. If we fail to raise the purchase price this summer, we will miss out on this unique opportunity to save the pub. So, if you are planning to buy shares, please don’t hesitate. The sooner we reach the initial target, the sooner we can buy the pub and start the refurbishment work.
So, please download and read our prospectus. If you can help then please complete a share application form. To find out more, including arrangements for electronic payment, simply complete our declaration of interest form.
After launching our “Offer for shares” at a public meeting in a busy South Stoke Village Hall last night, we are delighted to make available for download a copy of the official document and share application form.
Having recently exchanged contracts with the current owner, we now have a very real opportunity to save this much-loved local institution! The immediate target is to raise £525,000 this summer in order to buy the building. So please read our offer document today then get in touch!
To find out more, including arrangements for electronic payment, simply complete our declaration of interest form.
Thank you to all who came to our impromptu event in the village on Saturday! Quite a crowd turned up at short notice, and four years after the pub served it’s last pint, to hear the news…
…which is that Packhorse Community Pub Limited has secured the opportunity to raise funds from the local community, and interested investors, to purchase the pub. Contracts have been exchanged with the current owner with completion due in September, subject to a successful fundraising campaign.
The team plans to launch the share prospectus document at a public meeting in South Stoke Village Hall on 28 June, at 7.30pm. If you may be interested in investing, please complete our declaration of interest form.
The recently postponed “Not the Packhorse” event is now being held this coming Saturday, 11 June,
outside the pub in South Stoke village hall right beside the pub between 6 and 7:30pm.
Please come and join us for a drink – we have some interesting news!
This month’s South Stoke Parish Notes advertised a “Not The Packhorse – Anniversary Event” on Saturday 28th May. This event has been temporarily postponed.
We’ve just heard from B&NES that the current owner of the Packhorse has told them that he intends to dispose of the pub. We will, of course, let you know more as and when details become clearer…
Both of the planning applications have today been withdrawn. No reason given… but perhaps it was because of the 95 people who recorded their objections to the change of use on the B&NES web site in the last two weeks? (There was just one comment in support of the scheme.) Thank you to all who made their voice heard!
So, B&NES have finally received a planning application for change of use of the basement and ground floor of The Packhorse to residential and a related application for listed building consent for the necessary internal and external alterations.
We have until 8 October 2015 to send our comments to B&NES. Of course, the Save the Packhorse committee will be lodging an objection. But we’ll do so after analysing carefully the voluminous documentation accompanying the applications and after taking professional advice. We’ll share some of the main conclusions of that advice here to help others understand the planning considerations involved.
Just one oddity to point out at this stage to avoid confusion – the applicant name is shown as Mr Martin Cherry. However, we believe this is just a typo on the forms and that these applications are indeed being made on behalf of Mr Martin Sherry, the owner of The Packhorse. We’ll try and get that minor detail cleared up in due course…
UPDATE: The agent has confirmed to B&NES that these applications ARE from Mr Martin Sherry.
If you knew of the Packhorse Pub when it was open – please can you spare five minutes to complete a survey? This will help the “Save the Packhorse” team understand how much local support we have and – in the hope it does one day return to the community – what kind of pub people would like to see in the future…
On Saturday 16th May between 5.30 and 7.30pm, there will be a bar and musical entertainment on South Stoke village green (or Village Hall if the weather is unkind).
This will be a fun opportunity for all who care about The Packhorse to get together for a drink and a chat, and be updated on the current situation with regard to efforts being made to buy The Packhorse back for the community.
It is important that we demonstrate the strength of feeling in the village, so please show your support by coming along!