The South Western is the gateway to our village; it should make us all feel proud.
The TCBS proposal is a combination of new ideas, inspired by traditional village values which will help The South Western become a place which embodies all that is great about Tisbury.
We believe the most important of these values is COMMUNITY and it’s the foundation of our proposal.
TCBS passionately believe in shared ownership & want to create a business which benefits everyone, not just private landlords, property developers, councils or governments.
Under our proposal Tisbury will join a host of other villages both near and far that have embraced community ownership and developed sustainable, truly independent businesses.
If you SAY YES to community ownership you are joining many others to help make The South Western fit for the future and create a lasting legacy in Tisbury.
A 19th century building with a 21st century purpose
Our vision for The South Western is to create more than another pub and to develop it we have worked closely with Plunkett Foundation who support over 600 community owned rural businesses.
We have been inspired by their research which shows in the 3 years preceding Jan 2019 not a single community takeover of a pub has failed in the UK – a common factor in every project has been creating a broad offer beyond hospitality.
The TCBS proposal respects The South Western’s history; we want to retain the essence of a great village pub. However, to prosper we believe it must have greater appeal for all ages & groups in Tisbury and the surrounding area. To be resilient it needs a multi-faceted offer which is relevant to some of the emerging challenges for rural communities.
We see the latter in three broad categories & the TCBS proposal will help provide tangible, village level solutions to each of them.
Environment: How can we encourage each other to minimise waste, be more sustainable & provide an example for future generations? We are privileged to live in a beautiful place, but how can we keep it that way & reduce our wider impact too?
Enterprise: The world of work has changed, jobs for life are rare, constant learning the norm, digitisation impacts everything and in < 10 years 50% of UK workers will be freelance or not tied to an office. How does Tisbury attract and retain working age people to keep our local economy buoyant and high street full?
Togetherness: Tisbury is a wonderful village of strong traditions & great spirit. But as social norms evolve, new people arrive, marriages get shorter & lives get longer how do we maintain this?
Our wonderful village institutions will certainly continue to play their part. But what benefits might a new type of community institution bring? If we don’t create it we may never find out.
What we want your help to achieve
The Tisbury CBS team has developed a business plan based on three income streams: eating and drinking, a zero-plastic refill shop and a co-working space. In addition, it will serve as an important space for community projects.
An affordable place to eat, drink and socialise.
At its heart, The South Western will continue to serve as a place for people to come together and eat, drink and socialise in an attractive and welcoming environment. The café will operate as a café/bar and bakery during the daytime, as well as being available for pop-up restaurant evenings. This has been highlighted as a key gap in Tisbury and will allow local chefs an opportunity for jobs and sharing their food skills. When evening meals are being served, the licensed bar will be open.
The café will include family friendly menus, and we also propose to offer a good value Sunday lunch comparable with the type of menus offered in a pub environment. The bakery will be run by an experienced baker, who will sell a range of reasonably priced freshly baked goods. Overall, The South Western will offer good value and a different offering to the two pubs, wine bar and cafés of the High Street.
A Zero-Plastic Refill Shop
At a time when almost everything is wrapped in single-use plastics, our refill shop will offer everyone the chance to make their staple purchases plastic free.
We will bulk buy and pass on near-bulk prices on standard purchases such as detergents, soaps, rice and pasta. You bring your container, we fill it. This allows local people to save money on everyday essentials and provides access to products that can benefit health and minimise environmental impact.
Initially, the refill shop will be housed in an electric vehicle. This will be based at The South Western and will also travel to local villages where it will park up and be open for business. On taking ownership of The South Western, we will apply for planning permission to bring the shop into the building itself. This will be in addition to the electric vehicle and it’s stopping points in neighbouring villages.
A Co-Working Space to stimulate the local economy
New technology and a massive growth in self-employment – freelancing, start-ups and micro-businesses – has changed the way many people work. Our initial survey showed a huge demand for co-working space not currently being met elsewhere.
The first floor of The South Western will become a place for people to work in an environment that emphasises important values, such as collaboration, openness, community and accessibility. Individuals or companies will be able to book desks, rooms and meeting spaces by the day, week or month.
This will boost alternative, sustainable and grassroots economic models for villages like ours and beyond, retaining talent and wealth locally and giving optimism to investors and the community and acting as a model for other villages.
Community & Project Space
Even in a strong and vibrant community like Tisbury, loneliness and lack of social connections can be challenging. Our new community space will be a welcoming, informal place where the community gathers to buy food essentials, have a cup of tea, join in an activity, or volunteer for a few hours.
With a high number of retirees in the village and its surroundings, there is a demand for volunteering opportunities. By having a rota of volunteers to support the café and refill shop, and the events programme, it will provide a way for those that want to volunteer to contribute to the community and meet new people.
For a village of its size, Tisbury already has an unusual wealth of community and environmental projects, including Nadder Community Energy, the new Community Land Trust, the Natural History Society and the Nadder Centre. This space will become the platform to highlight, support and incubate these and other new social and environmental projects.
We need £556,000 to make all this happen.
We're applying for various sources of that finance, and the most crucial is this share issue.
If we were to receive all of the grants and loans we have applied for, we’d have £350,000 and would need to raise the remaining £206,000 ourselves, which we believe in a community like Tisbury is very achievable.
However, if we receive less in grants and loans, we will raise the balance from a combination of funds from the share issue and potentially via a commercial mortgage from an ethical provider which support projects like ours. We are currently in discussion with two potential providers.
So, if we do not raise the minimum of £206,000 the project will not be viable and investors will get every penny they had invested back. If we raise more than the minimum, then the share offer will be deemed a success, but we won’t draw down funds and make everyone an investor in the society until we know that we’ve got the finances in place to move forward with both the purchase of The South Western and have a clear and credible pathway to operating successfully.
In addition, whilst the share offer is scheduled to close on October 7th 2019, if the Management Committee believe that by extending the share offer by up to three months we are likely to hit our target raise (be that minimum, optimum or maximum), they can do so.
Because the more debt we carry, the more repayment of those debts will take priority and so will impact on our ability to pay share interest and fund withdrawals, and so we will look to raise as much share capital as possible.
What are the business's prospects?
We've got more detailed financial projections in our offer document which you can download below.
We’ve compiled these projections using conservative assumptions for the projected income we could generate, so the main thing investors can do once we’re open to enable us to return money to them with interest is to use our facilities and persuade as many other people to do so!
The society is able to pay interest on shares each year and if things work out as we hope, we anticipate being in a position to pay interest of between 2-5%. After three years of trading, we can also use our cash surpluses to enable people to get their money back on a first-come, first-served basis.
The society's governing rules detail how this happens, and investors are urged to read those rules and the offer document before investing.
The Community Shares Standard Mark is awarded by the Community Shares Unit to offers that meet national standards of good practice. For more information about community shares, the Community Shares Standard Mark and the Community Shares Unit go to www.communityshares.org.uk