The Packhorse, South Stoke, Bath is closed – but with your help we aim to re-open it!
In May 2016 the community of South Stoke was presented with the opportunity to bring the Packhorse pub back under local ownership. The response to the scheme was overwhelming, and in September 2016, this C17th building – the sole village pub in South Stoke for over 150 years – came back into community hands. As of August 2017 an incredible £829k has been raised from over 320 generous shareholders. The “buy back” story and the galvanising moments it has created – bringing together people of all ages in social connection – has made local and national news (BBC, ITV, Spectator etc). In the fullness of time, once we are up and running, we hope to help other communities who are embarking on similar projects. But, we are not quite there yet.
As the Packhorse story has evolved, a number of changes to the original prospectus have been forced upon the project:
- Conservation officers at the local Council have stipulated that all renovation work is carried out to a very high standard;
- The planners insisted we move the kitchen from the first floor to the basement. Making the basement habitable is a major expense;
- To accommodate the move, an extension is being built which incorporates expensive ventilation and kitchen equipment etc;
- The relocation of the kitchen means that all of the first floor will now be available for public use, effectively increasing the “selling space” in the pub by about 40%.
As a result of these changes, the renovation costs have risen by around £150k. Due to the additional expense, some of the changes proposed in the prospectus (such as the development of the top floor) will now be phased over the next few years. In the meantime, the project continues to move apace:
- The gardens have been landscaped;
- The proposed car park at the front of the building is complete and work on the main building is underway;
- We have signed up a well-known local chef, Rob Clayton, as Operations Director. We believe that the income forecasts included in the prospectus are achievable, although somewhat deferred.
The Packhorse is now scheduled to reopen its doors in Spring 2018. In support of this date, we are seeking to raise share capital of £1,025,000 as opposed to the original sum of £875,000. We are approx £200k short of the target.
How can you help and become part of this incredible story?
- For £500+ you can become a shareholder in the Packhorse South Stoke Limited (we are keeping this open).
- For a £50-£100 donation you will become a “Friend of the Packhorse” (regular newsletters, occasional offers etc.) and receive a voucher for a free drink, to be spent in the Packhorse within its first year of operation.
- For a donation of £100+ you’re invited to contribute to our unique “Packhorse photomosaic” – along with other donors, you’ll be able to submit a photograph to be used to create an image of the Packhorse pub, which will be proudly framed/displayed within the new building and available online)*. On your first day in the newly opened pub, you’ll be faced with the challenge of finding yourself in the image; on all subsequent days, you’ll have the pride of pointing it out to friends.
All donated monies will help finance the capital costs of reconstructing the pub.
What are you waiting for? Please sign up below – and please share with your family and friends.
Together we will get the Packhorse open and proudly serving us all once again!
*For all existing shareholders – we plan to commission a similar image of the Packhorse image made from all shareholders’ names!