Orleton’s 17th century village pub saved

THE COMMUNITY BOOT INN (ORLETON) LIMITED A COMMUNITY BENEFIT SOCIETY 


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 The sale of Orleton’s Boot Inn to the Community Benefit Society, set up to ensure its future as a pub/restaurant after being closed for 18 months, has been completed. 

Paying tribute to all those who supported the campaign to save the Grade ll listed buildings from  housing development, Chair of the Society, John Alderman said, “we have received invaluable support from so many individuals and organisations without whom our vision to return the Boot to its former glory and indeed to turn it into ‘More than a Pub’, could not have been achieved. The ‘new’ Boot could include  a daytime cafe with free WiFi, a  meeting place for special interest groups, a venue for festivals and whatever else supports our community. 

“Special mention must go to all our investors whose belief in the project and generosity exceeded our expectations. The scheme to buy shares in the project is still open to any individuals who have missed out and the more invested the less we have to borrow to complete the refurbishment. 

“Also thanks to the Plunkett Foundation, an organisation that helps communities, particularly in rural locations, to take control of and overcome challenges that threaten their prosperity and well-being and last but not least, Herefordshire CAMRA,  who have provided expert advice and support all along the way.”

Now the hard work begins to immediately protect against any further damage and then refurbish the buildings. The immediate priorities include repairing the roof, which is urgent,  replacing windows and shoring up the listed ‘single cell building’ reputed to the smallest dwelling in Herefordshire and which was occupied until just 50 years ago.

The aim is to be ready to open for business sometime during the summer. 

Ahead of that will be the task finding and appointing a tenant to manage the business. 

John Alderman added, “we also need a big clean-up operation to clear and tidy the site and property and are planning a fun weekend, hoping for lots of volunteers! For more information and the latest updates please keep checking back here.

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For further information contact David Flory on 07534 302011

 

 

 

 

November update

Dear pending and prospective members of the Boot.

A short note, first to say thank you to all those (over 150) who came to our public meeting last Tuesday. It was great to see this level of support for our campaign. Hopefully we answered all the questions raised but if anyone has any further queries, please just contact us.

One clarification - although we are a Community Benefit Society we do not qualify as a charity and therefore cannot benefit from the Gift Aid tax relief. We can however accept any gifts that anyone may like to make. Sorry for the slight confusion / misunderstanding on the night.

If anyone would like a copy of the prospectus or membership / share application forms they are on the Community Boot Inn website (www.thecommunitybootinn.co.uk) or in hard copy format from any committee member or with Andrew in the Post Office.

I can now also give an update on the initial £70,000, that I reported on the night, to say that we have now just passed the halfway mark of £150,000 towards our target of £300,000. Again many many thanks for all those that have applied for membership.

I would like to also reiterate our cry for help from you to spread the news to anyone, both near or far, who could possibly be interested in becoming members / buy shares. We still have a way to go to our target and the beginning of December is very close when we have to confirm intended purchase with the liquidators. This is our only chance of saving the Boot and your help could be key.

Best Regards

John

Chair. The Community Boot Inn (Orleton) Ltd

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.