The Plough, Sandygate

Many of you will be aware of the recent plight of the Plough and the community members striving to prevent the loss of their local pub. It had been feared that the site was set to be converted into a Sainsbury’s convenience store, and while that has not happened yet, the pub is still advertised to let and fears remain over its closure.

A group of regulars and local residents mounted a petition against the proposals last month, and they are now starting to make progress towards taking over the running of the pub as a collective. The Plough Community Benefit Society Ltd has now registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, meaning they are now able to legally fundraise through a Community Share Issue.

Earlier this week came the news that a private investor has offered to buy the freehold of the pub on the group’s behalf, carry out renovations and then lease it back to them at a reasonable rate for an initial 10-year period. This means that the group would need to raise £120,000 through sales of shares in the business in order to cover the start-up costs and rent rates.

The group are now looking to gauge the amount of interest in these shares. Shares will be valued at £1 and sold in batches, with a minimum investment of £250 rising to the legal maximum of £20,000. All shareholders will have equal voting rights irrespective of the value of their holding. If you would be interested in making an investment in the Plough, please contact the group directly at ploughsandygate@gmail.com for a copy of the pledge form or for more information. There will also be a public meeting in Crosspool on 15 June for potential investors.

UPDATE: The group has set up a crowdfunding website where you can choose to pledge money in return for shares, or simply make a donation towards the fund. The page can be found here.

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