On Tuesday 7 November the local community gathered at The Church of The Good Shepherd to discuss making a bid to buy The Dyke Pub.The pub was put up for sale on 6th October 2017 – as it’s an Asset of Community Value, the community has the opportunity to make a bid to buy it. This decision has to be made within six weeks (by 17th November 2017) and then the community has a further four and a half months to raise the funds to buy the pub (deadline 6th April 2018). During this time, the owner cannot sell the pub to anyone except a community group.
At the meeting we heard from Woody (Chairman of the Dyke Pub Preservation Society, soon to be a Limited company) and Catherine Swann (one of the original Save the Dyke Pub campaigners). We were also joined by Dave Boyle from Community Shares, and had valuable input regarding finances and viability from Mike Lloyd (who used to be regional manager of the brewery that owned The Dyke).
- The Dyke Pub is currently being marketed confidentially by Fleurets at £1.35million
- The Dyke Pub Preservation Society offered £965,000 in January (what the pub was independently valued at) and the offer was rejected
- The owner is currently making repairs to the pub and intends to rent it out as two retail spaces
The community would support anyone who wants to buy the pub and run it as a pub – the problem is that the current asking price is too high. We know other offers have been made for the pub, but they did not meet the asking price.
Putting in a community bid would not adversely affect the chances of the pub being sold to another buyer. Dave Boyle explained that it’s an advantage, as it demonstrates the demand for a local pub! And although Martin Webb wouldn’t be able to accept an offer from anyone except our community group before 6th April 2018, he could still negotiate with prospective buyers in the meantime.
How much would we need to raise?
It’s early days in terms of a business plan, but it’s estimated that the community would need to raise about £300,000 – £500,000 to buy the pub. There are many grants and funds available to support a community bid.
At this stage, we asked the community for a show of hands to see if there was enough support to bid to buy the pub – the response was YES! We have a growing list of people ready to volunteer and contribute and over the next couple of weeks we will be busy compiling a list of roles and jobs for The Dyke Pub Preservation Society.
We need your help!
The Save The Dyke Pub have worked incredibly hard for 14 months to prevent development of The Dyke Pub and Garden, and for the next stage in an exciting campaign we’re passing the reigns to the Dyke Pub Preservation Society. But this bid will only work with a new, enthusiastic team behind it – and that means YOU! If you can help, please email DykePubPreservationSociety@gmail.com to join the DPPS mailing list and join our new DPPS Facebook Group to discuss ideas. A date for the inaugural meeting will be confirmed soon.