A major milestone was achieved when SKDC granted Planning approval on 26 September. There are minor conditions to be met, but as they form part of the wider ecological surveys carried out by the present landowner or our match own ambition to enhance the ecological benefit of the site we do not anticipate too much of a problem meeting those conditions.
The Community Share issue raised £18,360, just shy of our target of £20,000. The Share Booster Award we achieved has now doubled this amount and with some shares bought post the Booster deadline, and interest, we have £39941 in a separate bank account. This will not be used until we have ownership of the land and are ready to start building work. We also have a further £12k in the bank from previous grant awards and a further £138k pledged to us from another 3 grants. In addition, we have long term loan of £28k we can call on if needed and arrangements for a bridging loan of £90k available to cover any gaps between incurring costs and receiving pledged grants. Finally, two further grant applications are in an advanced stage and if they achieve our expectation it will minimise or cancel any need for loans. Please note, shares can still be purchased at £20 each.
We are keen that as many people in the community are shareholders so they can have a say how the shop and café are run and how any profit is used back into our community.
Whilst we continue to press to conclude the contract for the land and the grant from the landowner we are also busy obtaining hard building costs to attach to the remaining grant applications. I wish I could be firm about when we will be opening but as we all know solicitors dealing with property live in a different dimension to the rest of the world.