A successful share launch was attended by over 80 people this afternoon (14th April 2018) at the Hougham and Marston Village Hall.
Tim Found, the campaign’s vice chairman, addressed the meeting and gave a brief history of the Campaign to Save The Thorold Arms:
from its inception in July 2015 when the pub closed its doors for the last time;
through successful registration of the pub, with South Kesteven District Council (SKDC), as an Asset of Community Value (ACV);
incorporation of the campaign as The Thorold Arms Community Benefit Society Limited;
the first share issue in 2016 and how, in the experience of the Plunkett Foundation, the amount raised in the time available was an exceptional effort;
never-ending discussions with the receivers and their ultimate rejection of our cash offer prior to auction;
loss of the pub at auction to a developer with deeper pockets;
to refunding all the share offer money back to the investors;
months of trying to discover the identity of the purchaser;
longtime, futile attempts to negotiate a reasonable price for the pub;
well coordinated opposition to the developer’s 2 attempts to get planning for conversion of the pub to a dwelling;
recent and final agreement of a price of £195,000 despite the developer taking his planning objections to appeal;
the new share offer with a minimum target of £210,000 to buy the pub, insure it and make it safe.
Tim explained the importance of buying the pub with the community’s own resources and how, once the community owns the pub, other sources of funding may also become available.
There was a robust question and answer session and the meeting finished, after just under 2 hours, at 4 pm with a feeling of optimism and the knowledge that £45,000 has already been pledged to the share offer.