Thanks to everyone who came along to the Christmas Fete at the Westruther Village Hall on 7 December. The feedback on the proposed layout of the combined pub and coach house was overwhelmingly positive.
The plans were drawn up after careful consideration of all feedback. If you’ve not had a chance to have a look, please take the time to consider them and let us know what you think. You can give us your feedback by commenting below, or by going to the contacts page and submitting a question.
Click on the image below to enlarge it.
The reason The Steering Group was at the Christmas Fete, other than to show the community the proposed plans, was to share progress and to let everyone know how much we might have to raise to buy the pub and coach house, and renovate in line with the plans.
We need your help now
We were also there to raise some working capital for the Steering Group to proceed with applications for funds. This is an immediate requirement and we need to raise £800 from donations. I’m delighted to say we managed to raise £127 at the stall, thanks to the generosity of those who dropped by. But we do need to raise more. If you’re feeling in the festive spirit, please email the Steering Group on firstname.lastname@example.org to make a donation. Any, and all, contributions very gratefully received.
We can’t take things for granted
As we’ve said before, we will be able to obtain a huge chunk of funds through grants, but these are conditional on the community backing the project commercially too.
To buy the properties, The Steering Group has estimated we will need to raise in the region of £20,000 from the community.
If we can raise this amount, this will demonstrate the commitment required to prove community support and will open up the door to further grant funding for renovation work.
We expect the total renovation costs to be in the region of £150,000 to deliver in line with the plans above. The Steering Group will explore all opportunities possible to secure as much of this amount through further grants. However we may still have to raise a portion of this amount from community investments.
So what’s the damage?
Initially, The Steering Group estimates the community will need to raise £20,000.
That might sound like a quite mountain to climb, but the sums are not as hideous as you might initially think. Assuming we get 200 people putting up an average amount of £100, we’ll get there.
That still sounds a lot
It is a lot. There’s no denying that. But context is important here.
The way I’ve been looking at this project is an investment in the future of my community and also, more immediately, protecting the value of my own property. I dread to think what will happen to the value of property in Westruther if we don’t have a good pub and restaurant. My own personal estimate, from doing a bit of research, is that property values could decline by 10% or more without local facilities. So for me, it makes absolute common sense to do everything I can, and to invest what I can afford, to insure against a Westruther property slump!
And if the pub, restaurant and community space is anything like we envisage it will be, who’s to say property prices won’t rise as the village becomes an attractive residential opportunity?
In the new year, The Steering Group will be in contact to let you know the next steps. Once we put in applications for funding to purchase the pub and coach house, things will probably start moving a bit faster. We’ll be sure to keep you all involved, through email updates, website posts and community meetings.
In the meantime, The Steering Group wishes you and your families a very merry Christmas and a (community owned pub) prosperous, New Year!