Although we have not yet reached our target figure, we have already exceeded the
professional valuation of a fair market price for the pub, which was just under £200,000. We
also know of several people who would be willing to increase the amount they have already
pledged, while others tell us that they waiting for a purchase price to be negotiated before
making an initial and substantial pledge. So we have no doubt that the full target of £350,000
would be reachable as needed.
On this basis, we have written to Stag Developments on behalf of the project, making an offer
for the building, and have met with Myles, Jess and Dan to discuss this. Our offer was for
£225,000 (as we have taken into account the high quality of work that Stag has done), and we
also proposed some options for increasing the total amount that could be paid, based on (for
example) an additional payment after a period of successful trading. Unfortunately Stag were
not willing to accept our offer, as they continue to feel that the building is worth around
£400,000 and so want to hold out for an offer of that amount.
Although Horsley clearly wants to own the Bell & Castle, and has raised a lot of money, we do
not feel that we can recommend that the community should offer to buy the pub at that sort
of price, and so we are 'on hold' until there is some change in the situation.
We understand that one other party is in discussions with Stag to take on the pub, potentially
quite soon, which could potentially be good news for both Stag and the community – we are
confident that everyone in Horsley would welcome and support anyone who wants to make
a success of the Bell & Castle, so this may turn into a positive outcome. But this option might
fall through, and it may be that we will be able to negotiate a purchase in the future, so we
are keeping our options open, and continuing to rely on the pledges we have received and to
welcome new pledges, so that we have all the necessary funds available.
We will provide further updates if and when the situation develops.
on behalf of the Horsley Community Pub Project and The Horsley Pub Company Limited