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 have recently been advised by our solicitors that the contract, following direction from the landowner, is being re-drafted to take account of the comments we made in August and will hopefully be back with us in the next few weeks.
On 13 Dec, 27 shareholders attended the company Inaugural General Meeting. This marked the change from the project team "Steering Group" to a Management Committee, as required by the model constitution for a Community Shop as supplied by the Plunkett Foundation. The 4 existing Directors of the company, namely Peter Hinton. James Mclaren, Richard Kent and Mike Dooley transfer to the new Committee. George Hayward was duly elected and Steve mellows and Amanda Johnson have also subsequently joined. The meeting was provided with an update on a modified design for the building and financial report, including the status of fund raising efforts. We still await the contract to transfer the land to us but our solicitors are cautiously optimistic this will be with us shortly.
It was explained that one third of Committee members must stand down or seek relection, each year. The first Annual General Meeting will be in December 2018.
Thansk must go to those members of the Steering Group who did not seek to join the Management Committee, for the time and advice they given the project over the past 4 years. Hopefully we will have an operating shop and cafe during 2018.