A Major Update with Some Major News!

Dear Friends of the Boot

A major update to keep everyone informed of the ongoing efforts to purchase the Boot for the community. This in fact encompasses a previous draft that was in the process of being distributed, as it had been some time since our last communication. However… some new and hopefully exciting new developments were received on Thursday 13th September.

After being informed by the selling agents in late July that the higher bidder had now formally withdrawn and rejected the proposal that they purchase the pub with only part of the site (to allow development on the car park) we have, in the last weeks, requested and once again had access to the Boot (Friday 24th Aug). This was to assess the deterioration of the property since we last had access in January. We were accompanied by an architect and quantity surveyor and our visit revealed significant further problems; among them being water ingress in the managers accommodation kitchen with part of the ceiling being brought down and daylight visible through the roof above. The power had been tripped, probably also due to this new water leak and movement to the sill beam in the separately listed building to the rear of the main pub buildings.

After reviewing the QS feedback we received on Monday 3rd September, we made (Tues 4th September) a revised, time limited, significantly lower offer that was still subject to a full structural survey, with a further reduction proposed if this was not accepted by the end of September. With this structured offer, it was hoped to elicit a rapid positive response and if accepted, allow us to plan for purchase and access to start remedial works prior to inevitable bad weather in the Autumn / Winter.

This has now happened (Thur 13th Sept) and we have been invited by the liquidators to have the structural survey performed so we can agree a final price for the property. Once our financial means are certified, the property will be removed from the market to allow us to complete the purchase.

Consequently we are now needing to trigger our share offer and translate the pledges made into funds. That, coupled with our conditionally approved grant and loan from the 'More than a Pub' scheme, will allow purchase and refurbishments prior to appointing a tenant and reopening.

Our planned activities in the next two weeks will include;

  • Commissioning of the structural survey

  • Agreeing a purchase price

  • Confirmation of the loan and grant

  • Completion and printing of the share offer documentation

  • Scheduling a public meeting both to launch this document and also to outline our plans, request feedback and answer any questions.

We also plan to be back in touch with updates both via e mail and on our website. The website can also be used to contact us or for copies of the pledge form. These can still be used until the share offer documents are available and we would be keen to encourage further participation in our joint effort.

In the meantime, if when swapping notes on these developments it becomes apparent that some of you have not received our update e mails, please can you contact either Jon Best (our secretary) or myself (John.alderman5@gmail.com) as we are concerned that some of our mailings are incorrectly labelled as spam and are not getting to some of you. We hope to resolve any examples of this as a matter of urgency, as we will need to contact all potential shareholders speedily with the finalised share offer documents.

Finally if anyone has any urgent issues they would like to raise please feel free to get in touch and we will try to answer them and hopefully we will soon also be the community owners of The Boot Inn to match the achievement of those in Yarpole who, using the same community benefit model, successfully purchased The Bell on 28th.