Black Swan Update: Project Cancelled

We regret to announce that the meeting tomorrow evening (Wednesday 22nd March)  has been cancelled. The team has reviewed the information received from the survey and from research &  investigations with other community pubs, the team has concluded that the project does not meet enough the key success criteria to be a viable project as a community-owned pub.

However, should an individual, or group of individuals, want to buy the pub, then there is enough evidence to suggest that the Black Swan could easily ‘fly’ again, especially as a free house. The team are very willing to share the red book valuation, our business plan and suggested forecasts. We would all be delighted if the Black Swan were to remain as a pub.

Critical Success Factors for a Community-Owned Pub

  • Community of +/-2000 required for optimum response
  • No or limited competition nearby
  • Local benefactor to act “swing financier”: eg “soft” loans
  • Good staff accommodation
  • Limited refurbishments required
  • Enthusiastic support from community
  • Ability to raise an average of £1,000/head (ranges of £500 through to £40,000)
  • Ability to pull together a Team with following skills (or free access to these skills): Legal, Commercial, Pubs/hospitality, Financial, VAT, Communications/Marketing

We would like to thank those people who donated money to the fighting fund, which we partially used to fund the ‘red book’ survey/valuation. If you would like the balance of your donation (approximately 50%) to be donated to the Village Green possible purchase, or Village Hall renovations please let us know. Otherwise the monies will be returned by cheque.

Monxton Parish Council will continue to try and purchase the village green on behalf of the parish, and potentially the car park, subject to costs and any conditions imposed by Enterprise Inns.

The team would like to thanks villagers for the support provided to date. If anyone wishes to discuss any aspect of the project please contact Sarah Dowding on sarah@classictravelling.com or Mike Cleugh at mikecleugh@hotmail.com

Black Swan Update Public Meeting 22nd March

Whilst news appears to have been quiet on the Black Swan, a few local residents have still been working hard behind the scenes to work on a business proposal for the possible community purchase of the pub.

The moratorium period (triggered by Monxton Parish Council due to the pub being an Asset of Community Value) ends one month today – at 5pm on Wednesday 13th April 2017. If we are to put in an offer, we’d ideally like to do so before this date.

There will be a public meeting in the Village Hall at 8pm on Wednesday 22nd March 2017.

The current team will:

  • Present an overview of the business proposal
  • Ask for financial pledges for the project
  • Ask for help with the project – looking for committee members for the Community Benefit Society

IF there is not enough support for the proposed community purchase then we shall withdraw from making an offer and Enterprise Inns will be free to sell the Black Swan pub, car park and village green to whomever they wish, with the most likely outcome that both the pub and the car park will be redeveloped for housing.

At the very least Monxton Parish Council has offered, and will continue to offer, to purchase the village green for a nominal sum. However, it must be noted that this may or may not happen, and there is a possibility of the electricity sub-station being moved onto the village green before the transaction is completed.

SHOULD YOU WISH TO SAVE OUR SWAN THEN PLEASE COME TO THE MEETING AND/OR PLEDGE YOUR SUPPORT.

For any information please contact Sarah Dowding on 710375 or sarah@classictravelling.com. Please let us know if you can attend the meeting.

Save our Swan Team Gets an Early Christmas Present

The Save Our Swan team have recently applied for a bursary from the Plunkett Foundation (a charity set up to try and assist community projects) and this week we received confirmation that Plunkett will provide a £2,500 bursary. These funds will be used to fund some of the work required to ascertain the value of the Black Swan building and also viability of the pub as a business.

This successful application was the result of some hard work by the team and takes us one step nearer to saving the Black Swan, with particular thanks to Paul Richards.

We are also in the process of setting up the Monxton Community Benefit Society (MCBS), which will be the legal vehicle for the project and should be in place early in the New Year

All donations, which villagers have provided will be transferred from the Monxton Parish Council bank account to the new MCBS bank account along with the bursary monies.

This will be used to fund the work required to undertake the ‘red book’ survey of the pub during the first week of January, which will provide the following:

  1. A valuation of the building and cost of reparations/refurbishment to the point where it can open for business
  2. An estimate of the likely business turnover for the Back Swan as a Free House

The next steps will be to open negotiations with Enterprise Inns and to propose a figure for the purchase of the Black Swan as an ongoing business.

While any development of the Black Swan itself, and the car park plus the village green, may mean a higher sale price for Enterprise Inns, it would require a Change of Use from TVBC. This would not be allowed while the Asset of Community Value (ACV) order is in place and while the community is negotiating with Enterprise Inns.

We will need assistance from the entire community and this includes the local villagers of Monxton, Amport, Quarley, Grateley and Abbots Ann, plus people from Andover and the Army HQ to support this project as it progresses and also to provide the various skills at different stages.

If you wish to help raise funds or join the team or offer any skills please call or email either:

Sarah Dowding on 01264 710375 / 07712 836383  sarah@classictravelling.com

or

Mike Cleugh on 01264 710276 / 07836 792545  mikecleugh@hotmail.com

Black Swan Car Park – update

Monxton Parish Council has received a notice this week from TVBC, which confirms that the Asset of Community Value application for the Black Swan Car Park, has been successfully appealed by Enterprise Inns, which has been upheld. This means the Car Park is no longer an ACV.

Monxton Parish Council has no intention of counter appealing as the car park is part of the Black Swan package currently for sale, and as such it makes no difference in the short term.

Enterprise Inns have advised that they have tolerated the use of the car park by residents and others as an act o goodwill and that there is no right to entry. They have confirmed that signs prohibiting use of the car park by non-patrons of the Black Swan will be re-erected together with a barrier and prohibition will be enforced.

In the event that the pub is purchased for development it will almost certainly be the case that the car park will see a planning application for a new property. However, in the event that Monxton Community group, with the support of villagers, succeeds in buying the pub plus the car park and the village green, it will be at the discretion of the new Black Swan management as to whether villagers are allowed to park going forward, as has been the case in the recent past.

 

Black Swan updates

Monxton Parish Council are pleased to announce that formal confirmation has been received that the Black Swan pub has now been registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). This extends the time for the village to raise the funds required to purchase the pub to the 13th April 2017, with a further protected period to 13th April 2018. This will prevent the property being sold to another party during this period.

It is hoped that the community  will be able to acquire the Black Swan to safe guard its position as Monxton’s only pub. There has been great support from Monxton, Amport, Abbotts Ann and further afield and £10,000 has now been raised for the fighting fund.

The Monxton Community committee met on the 19th October at the village hall and are progressing well with the various work streams. The committee is now in the process of developing the business plan and will be organising a village meeting in the coming weeks to present the business case and plans for the pub. Check the Monxton Matters Black Swan web pages for news or sign up for the newsletters.

Please let us have your views as usual either via the Comments section below or to monxtonmatters@gmail.com.