There is a good local support to restore and return the White Hart Inn operating as pub, restaurant and café and reverse its fortunes. Pledges of financial support have already been offered from potential shareholders amounting to £25,000. While short of the total proposed funding from this source it is thought to be a good measure of interest in a formal share offer. Based on the experience of similar share offers elsewhere, this is an encouraging start which should lead to additional investments.
Should our share offer fail to reach the target the opportunity for loan or combined grant and loan funding will be explored. There is an opportunity to access additional finance via the Plunkett Foundation using the Community Shares Booster Programme (run by Power to Change and Co-operatives UK). This may contribute towards our target through an investment in shares that will be held by Coops UK on the same terms as all other investors’ shares
Any potential loans will need to be carefully considered to ensure affordability within our business plan. It is recognised that loan repayments could only be financed by increasing the income generated from the business or by reducing interest payments to shareholders both of which could have an adverse impact on management recruitment.
As a Benefit Society there is further potential funding from the Plunkett Foundation via their ‘More Than A Pub’ programme in order to help fund start-up and start up administration costs.
‘More Than A Pub’: The Community Pub Business Support programme aims to bring pubs into community ownership and to increase the range of services they offer to help local people. The support includes allocated business development advisers, help with community consultations, advice on legal forms, business planning, community share offers and, bursary awards of up to £2,500. Groups can access the full range of support from the pre- venture stage, or just the elements they need, depending on how well their plans are developed. When a group is ready to purchase a pub, the ‘More Than A Pub’ Programme can offer a combined finance package of up to £100,000, made up of a loan and grant.