STRAP Chairman’s Update – 22nd July 2020

Chairman’s Update – 22nd July 2020

Railway Arms Pub, Saffron Walden


Dear All
  • Progress towards our purchase of the Railway Arms
  • First funding target reached
  • Community Share Booster investment secured
  • Share offer extended to end of September
  • Volunteer Opportunities
I’m pleased to report progress since our offer to purchase the Railway Arms was accepted at the beginning of July. Amid a flood of much appreciated and very kind messages of support it’s been great for the management committee just to be getting on with it; to actually be taking steps to bring about the purchase of Saffron Walden’s first Community-owned Pub.

Solicitors have been appointed and contract ‘heads of terms’ have been agreed; funders have been advised and all have been delighted to confirm offers as we work to gather funds in readines for an exchange of contracts. We have to thank the More Than A Pub Programme for its innovation and support and, of course, for its mix of bursary, grant and loan and, Triodos Bank for confirming mortgage and bridging loan facilities. Above all we have to thank you all for your investments in time, energy and money over the years.

Even in these difficult and uncertain times our second share offer has surpassed its first target and is closing in on its second. Investment and funding required for the purchase is in place and we’re now building up our reserves for refurbishment and the delivery of our plans for the gardens and outbuildings. This will allow us to bring the stables, cartshed, workshops and private garden into the life of the pub and to deliver the wider community benefits we’ve always planned and which we outline in our business plan and share prospectus here.

In that respect it’s great to be able to announce, albeit rather belatedly, that our Standard Mark badged share offer has attracted match funding from the Community Share Booster Programme. This means that for every pound invested by individuals up to £50,000, another pound will be invested in matched shares. The programme is supported by the Architectural Heritage Fund and their support further guarantees that the Railway Arms, as a complex of historic buildings contrbuting to the social and economic wellbeing of the town, will be in good hands.

In order to maximise this investment the management committee have decided to extend the share offer beyond the end of July to 30th September 2020. We  want everyone to have the opportunity to be part of this project and, as we move towards our goal, with a defined timeframe to work to, it’s right that people still have the opportunity to invest in one member one vote shares in the Community Benefit Society.

It won’t surprise you to hear that investment can take many forms and there will be lots of opportunities to safely volunteer and get involved over the coming weeks, months (and years)! We’ll be re-running our online survey and questionnaire/s so please get thinking about how you’d like the Railway to be and how you might get involved in the life of Saffron Walden’s first Community-owned Pub.


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