Looks like we had a very successful Christmas and New Year in the pub, with busy daytimes and evenings, and a huge amount of beer sold from our neighbouring brewery.
Since the shareholders meeting at the end of last year we have put in place some rules for the Tenant as you requested to enforce the requirements of the lease, and are assessing performance against some key indicators. If you recall, these were requirements for our Tenant to meet to ensure his continuing residence, and enable the shareholders to act should they not be met.
We need to progress matters now to start the works so that we can confirm or not the ongoing tenancy (within the bounds of the contract), and have decided to approach the redevelopment section at a time rather than all in one go.
We have secured funding from various sources and received much from new and existing shareholders; the initial application to Locality (Big Lottery Fund) has been deferred for funding until April when they open a fund specifically for Village Pubs, they are using the Initial programme to assist new ventures. We still have a good chance of getting strong funding and have identified a European fund too, however the time scales they work to are extended and we want to see some progress on all fronts. Hence the decision to start with the monies we already have or are pledged. This also enables us to keep sections of the pub open except for major works.
The priorities are to refurbish and extend the kitchen area and to provide for better access to toilet facilities and restaurant area; in conjunction with a redecoration and general repairs to the whole building, making a more attractive building for shareholders, patrons, and tenants alike. Following that the development of the pool/darts area and entrance arrangements. Final stage is extension as per the plans.
We have received some funds from The Plunkett Foundation to cover the costs of CDM, planning, surveys etc to accelerate the process. We really need as soon as we can to receive your new share monies, especially those who have pledged. Work will start as soon as we have collected the required amount, so I would urge you to forward cheques via the village shop. I attach prospectus with application form for those who have mislaid it.
We have some new shareholders too and have received cheques from them.
Special thanks to James Blackie who has guided us through this process and been instrumental in identifying and costing the individual phases.
‘We have had and still have many future plans, it is just nice to know that some of them are now achievements’:
We started with a single future plan which was to secure ownership of the Green Man for the benefit of the community. This became an achievement in December 2012.
Without this key achievement all the dreams, aspirations and ideas for the future of the Green Man could never really be considered as future plans.
It’s happened it’s real and some of those now real future plans have already become achievements.
Below is a summary of what we have achieved and what is hopefully in store for the future.
Built as another community owned project utalising part of the Green Man out buildings the Craft brewery is now active and making beer. Please find out more at the link below.
The Pumphouse Craft brewery, Toppesfield, Essex.
Green Man Remodeling:
Status: On going
When the society purchased the pub in 2012, it was clear that there had been little investment in the building and its facilities for decades. Our first acts on buying the pub were to redress some of the clear and potentially dangerous defects.
However, the fundamental shortcomings of the facility are increasingly apparent and the Management Committee has decided, based on the feedback received from customers and members, to undertake a substantial refurbishment and renovation of the Green Man.
The plans are finalised and have planning permission so please visit our dedicated Green Man Referbishment page for more detailed information and updates.
The proposed work will include a redesign of the interior layout, a more welcoming entrance and frontage, fully accessible and modern toilet facilities, the provision of discrete space to attract more community groups, a new and relocated kitchen and a range of environmentally focused improvements to make the building more energy efficient.
We believe that by enhancing this valuable amenity, benefits will accrue financially to TCP thereby further underpinning the security of the pub over the longer term. Additionally, this project will provide improved facilities for a wide range of village groups and organizations which currently have no suitable location to meet.
Ultimately our goal is to make the Green Man truly the ‘hub’ of the community and to work together with other community enterprises in the village – Toppesfield Community Stores and Pumphouse Community Brewery – to ensure not only that Toppesfield maintains its vital enterprises but that they flourish and the community with them.