Did you hear about us on BBC Radio Cumbria earlier? Adam Powell chats to Vivienne…
A community’s prospects of buying their pub have received a boost – thanks to pound for pound match funding of Community Shares purchased from now until the new extended offer deadline of 18th October.
The village community in Mawbray faced a huge challenge to raise money to buy their pub in just six weeks. With COVID-19 bringing restrictions on meetings and financial uncertainty for many supporters, it has been a hard task, but this week brought great news for the Lowther Arms Community Project (LACP). It has secured funding that will match any shares sold from now until the end of their shares campaign.
LACP Spokesperson Christopher Atkinson said “We have secured the support of the Community Shares Booster Programme, which is funded by Power to Change and run by the Community Shares Unit. This means that, from now to the end of our shares offer, every pound invested by the public or businesses will be worth double thanks to the Booster Programme. Up to £100,000 is available and if we are able to access all of this we will exceed our minimum funding target. With this added incentive we hope that those who have already contributed will feel able to increase their shareholding and that new investors will come forward and help us to double up our funds”.
“The match shares will be held by Co-operatives UK, a partner in the Community Shares Unit and will be subject to the same terms and conditions as other Lowther Arms Community Project members. All members get an equal say in the running of the Society – one member one vote.
“We know that a large proportion of the investment in Community Shares offers is received in the final stages and with this in mind we have extended our deadline until 18th October but we’re also urging people not to leave it last minute, so the message is ‘Hurry up, so we can double up!’”
This latest boost to the project gives the team a real chance of buying and opening The Lowther Arms at Mawbray in time for Christmas. They are still looking to raise around £95,000 in shares from businesses and the public.
“We already have more than 100 investors and still have a lot of people registering interest. This latest piece of news has already led to more people buying shares as well as some existing shareholders increasing their investment.”
The team has already successfully applied for an £80,000 grant and loan package that will be unlocked if they hit their fundraising targets.
Anyone who is interested in buying shares or making a donation can find out more at www.thelowtherarms.co.uk. or contact Vivienne Coleman on 01900 881441. News is updated on their Face Book page @lowtherarmscommunityproject.