Here’s a quick update on what’s been happening for the last couple of weeks.
Our building, structural and architectural surveys are now back, just drainage to go. In addition to adding disabled toilets and landscaping the garden, there are some issues that the surveys have thrown up for which we need to get building quotes.
Call for Volunteers As we move into the next phase of the project, we want everyone to get involved. We’ve outlined some areas that we’ll need help with over the summer to get the White House ready to reopen. Please complete this quick survey so that we can set up working groups that adhere to social distancing.
We are delighted to confirm that our offer to purchase the White House has now been approved by Greene King’s board.
What happens next?
We have prepared a job description and advert to attract a suitable tenant that shares the community’s values and vision for the pub. We have also identified suitable advertising channels.
In addition, we have received quotes from several building surveyors who will complete a full survey prior to purchase and are working with a local architect and structural engineer to see what might be feasible with regard to disabled access for the toilets, baby changing facilities and a secure garden.
We have also investigated suitable grants, application criteria and deadlines. We believe there are two grants that could assist with paying for part of the planned upgrades. These grants could offer 25% and 40% of total costs if we are successful, there is of course a lengthy application process and no guarantee we will be successful.
Once we are able to gain access to the pub, we plan to move swiftly on upgrading the current facilities and making sure that we can open as soon as is feasibly possible.
We cannot wait to raise a glass with you to celebrate Bladon’s community pub!
Are you self isolating? Do you need some help? You are not alone. A local network has been set up for us to help each other in these worrying times.
All households in Bladon and Woodstock should have received a leaflet through their letterbox. The leaflet gives contact details of local volunteers who will help those in self isolation or who just need help. Volunteers can collect groceries, pick up prescriptions, give you a friendly phone call or put you in touch with a qualified therapist to talk through your worries. There’s no cost for help.
We’ve submitted the Bladon Community Benefit Society bid to Greene King’s agents. All we can do now is cross our fingers and wait to hear.
Community spirit is alive and well in Bladon. We are so proud and humbled to be part of such a great community who has really pulled together to try and save the White House pub. Thank you to our 440 shareholders and all our supporters!
We now have 437 Bladon Community Pub shareholders and over the last week we had an additional £9,000 in share purchases! We’ve been overwhelmed by the effort of volunteers who have made it possible to leaflet all households in Bladon, Begbroke, Cassington, Church Hanborough, Coombe, Freeland, Long Hanborough and Woodstock.
With the uncertainities of the Coronavirus spread, community spirit is so important and we need to look after each other. We will also need a place where we can get together as a community once we are able to.
There are many villagers that are in the age risk group that might need to self-isolate due to Covid-19 and we need to be able to support them at this time. In Bladon, Woodstock and Wooton we are working to co-ordinate volunteers and patches to ensure that all those isolated have access to help. Please get in touch if you want to volunteer or would like some help: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new service is being set up – The Help Hub. We have adapted the fantastic help form that has been doing the rounds on social media. Please do feel free to use it.
As well as practical help, a group of qualified therapists have come together to offer people in isolation a free 20 minute session via Skype, FaceTime or telephone. The Help Hub website and booking system should be live this weekend: https://www.thehelphub.co.uk
Our offer to purchase the White House was not accepted by Greene King. The selling agents have said that there are other interested parties and we have received a request for “best and final” offers with a deadline of Friday 20th March 2020, this ties in with the end of the Asset of Community Value moratorium.
At this point, we will put in the best community offer that we can to secure the pub. Our current level of share purchases give us the potential to increase our offer somewhat but not significantly.
Any investments that come in now will serve to make our bid position stronger. With this in mind, our share offer remains open and we would urge you to investif you can. Shares start at just £50 and every single share counts.
Thanks to a small army of volunteers, our friends and neighbours in Woodstock, Long Hanborough, Church Hanborough, Cassington and Freeland were leafleted at the weekend.
We still believe that a community purchase of the White House would be an amazing addition to the Bladon community and surrounding villages.
Thank you so much to all that have invested and supported the Bladon Community Pub bid.
The great news is that we have raised enough money to make a credible offer to Greene King. We’ll make an offer early next week and be back in touch when we have any news.
As there is sadly no guarantee that our offer will be accepted, we have decided to leave the share offer open. The share offer will now officially close on the 31st of March, or if we are unsuccessful in our bid to purchase the pub, whichever comes sooner.
If you wanted to invest but missed the deadline, please still buy shares as anything extra we raise will go towards improving our offer if we need to, improving the fabric of the building or helping us bring the community services to life.
Thank you all once again.