Back the White Horse our Cotswold Pub

by Susan Rudlin in Stonesfield, England, United Kingdom

Back the White Horse our Cotswold Pub
We did it
On 26th December 2020 we successfully raised £14,800 with 347 supporters in 62 days

To save The White Horse, the last pub in the Cotswold village of Stonesfield, and run it as a community owned asset.

by Susan Rudlin in Stonesfield, England, United Kingdom

We are raising money to save our pub in the Cotswolds, The White Horse in Stonesfield, it is the last one in our village and we are at risk of losing it altogether to developers.  We need your help!

Your donation will help us raise the substantial amount of money we need to buy The White Horse, refurbish it and open it for the benefit of the community.  Right now, it's at risk of being sold for residential development.

This year has been an extraordinary one, more than ever community cohesion is needed to reduce isolation and marginalisation and we believe it's possible to create something special together through this project.

If we're successful we'll be able to open The White Horse as more than a pub, better than before, delivering the services that local residents (in the village and surrounding area) have identified as important to them.  Not to mention being open for walkers, cyclists and other visitors who are enjoying our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We hope you'll want to be part of it!

The story so far.....

The White Horse has been serving the local Stonesfield community since 1876 and is the last pub in the village having out-survived five others.

At the beginning of the year the pub was being run as a going concern, but when the COVID-19 lockdown was initiated in March this year, the tenants were forced to temporarily close the pub and, shortly after, gave up their tenancy. In July the current owner put it up for sale.

Our Parish Council had registered the pub as an asset of community value (ACV) under The Localism Act. This identifies the pub as a building whose main use has been to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community (based on it offering recreational social interests). As a consequence of the ACV, the Parish Council were notified when it came on to the market.

Once the broader village became aware of the planned sale of the pub, a small group of residents came together and formed a steering group to explore how best to secure its future. The steering group used The Localism Act 2011 to trigger a legal moratorium, prohibiting any sale of the pub to a private buyer for a six-month period, ending on 7 January 2021. During this moratorium period, The White Horse can only be sold to a community group. After this date, the owner of the pub can sell to any potential buyer/developer.

We are working with The Plunkett Foundation, based in Woodstock, who run the More than a Pub scheme and they are supporting us through every stage of acquiring and setting up The White Horse as a community-owned pub.

Who are we?

We are a community benefit society, Stonesfield Community Pub Limited (SCPL), registered with the FCA (registration no. 8484).  In talking to other community-owned pubs it was clear that this is a tried and tested model.  There are seven members on the Management Committee but we are supported by the wider community to get everything done.  We are all local residents giving our time voluntarily and we receive no remuneration.

We are passionate about saving our pub and the role it plays in our community now and for generations to come.  We believe that a successful pub strengthens a community and contributes positively to village life both socially and economically. Its benefits reach beyond those who use it, alongside the pre-school, primary school, shop, sports and social club and the places of worship, the pub supports the overall attractiveness of the village as a place to live.

What we'll use the money for.....

We are aiming to raise sufficient funds to buy, set up and run the pub to contribute positively to village life both socially and economically. To give the business the very best chance of getting off to a great start, we are planning to carry out repairs and refurbishment prior to re-opening, both inside and outside.  You can find out more about our project and meet our enthusiastic team on our website.

So what's in it for you?

You'll be supporting a community project making a difference to people's lives - there's nothing quite like knowing you have contributed towards someone’s wellbeing or future.

Want to be involved a little bit more?

As part of our wider fundraising effort we are also running a share offer.  If you're interested in becoming a member of the Society which owns a Cotswold pub, and elects the Management Committee who oversee its running, you can download the Share Offer Prospectus, Business Plan and Rules here. We encourage anyone thinking of investing in our Society's shares to read all the documents first and consider whether or not you need to take independent financial advice.

Thank you for reading this far.....

We all only have this one opportunity to save this village pub. Thank you for considering a contribution to our campaign. Your support is vital in helping us bring The White Horse into community ownership.

Together we are creating something extraordinary for generations to come.  

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