PRESS RELEASE – THE CHEQUER MATES
The first Shareholders’ meeting of The Chequer Inn Ash Society Ltd was held on the 5th June, 2017. At the time of the meeting, the necessary funds raised to purchase The Chequer Inn was just over £150,000 from members of Ash community. This is a remarkable amount for a village to raise in a few months – but not enough for the asking price of the property. Although a tremendous amount had already been invested, we were still short of our target.
We also reported on our grant and loan application being considered by The Plunkett Foundation. Their “More Than A Pub” scheme is a pub business support programme helping rural community co-operatives; however, they require the community to raise at least £200,000 to show their commitment to the purchase. We are pleased to be able to report that the existing 200 shareholders responded magnificently to boost funds and to date we have reached £212,000. We are also delighted that, since passing this news onto The Plunkett Foundation, their Loan and Grant Panel have agreed a conditional offer of an additional £50,000 grant, if a £50,000 loan is approved.
David Greaves from the Society says “This is exciting news from the Plunkett Foundation and a clear recognition of the Society’s work towards purchasing the Chequer Inn for the community. This is fantastic news for the community of Ash!”
Investor Colin Guest says “The grant is very welcome and tangible recognition from the government that the much loved and historic Chequer Inn is ‘More than a Pub’ and should play an important part in Ash community life for centuries to come.”
Shareholder Hazel Howard says “This is a fabulous endorsement and welcome boost to all the local people who have invested and supported the campaign in various ways. We have always believed that our efforts to purchase The Chequer Inn and make it a great community hub can and will be successful but it’s fantastic that the Plunkett Foundation agree with us.”
Matthew Titterton, who last year successfully campaigned to prevent the Chequer Inn from being developed, says “Our goal is to raise £430,000 to purchase the pub and cover all associated costs like repairs, refurbishment and start up costs, so we are now only around £100,000 short. At the meeting it became clear that attendees were aware of others that had ‘missed the boat’ or had forgotten to submit their share applications but were keen to invest. A vote was taken and it was decided that the Share Offer would be re-opened for a limited time so new applications would be accepted until the 31st July. We want to secure the Chequer Inn and make it the community hub that Ash needs.”
The more that is raised by the community, the less that needs to be borrowed and it means that local people can have a say in how it is run. Shares can be bought at £100 each and all application forms as well as further details are on the website – www.savethechequerinn.co.uk We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01304 813010 to request a form by return email or post.