The company AGM was held on 12 Dec in the Castle Bytham Village Hall with sufficient members present to approve nominations to the committee. Peter Hinton James McLaren and Richrd Kent were elected in their present roles and Wendy Smith added to the committee, all for 3 year terms. Apart from briefing the topic mentioned on the left, it was also breifed that we have costed the Project at £250k for the building, internal fittings, some external work and initial stock and have £265k secured, including funds already held and those pledged from external sources. A full copy of the briefing and statement of accounts can be found under the Meetings heading. It has been a hard slog all year pulling this together but perhaps w can now get down to the details of the internal layout, what to stock, what to seee in the cafe, employed staff and managing volunteers. We are gratefull to Andy Smith (Noble Interiors Ltd) for obtaining professionally designed kitchen options and with identifying much of the shop interior equipment inline with our desired "farm shop" atmosphere.
The key to the whole project has been the contract with the landowner to purchase the shop site (for £1) and have access to the £125k he is providing towards the costs of the project. Over the past 2 years the contract has been toing and froing between solicitors. Between long periods of waitng for responses from the sellers solicitors we have no sooner resolved one issue when new conditions or out of date information appears. To speed up this process we met with our solicitor on 11 Dec and handed over copies of everything from approved palnning applications, the original offer of the land and grant sent to us in Oct 2014 and statements showing the effect of not concluding the contract on other sources of funding. Later that day our solicitor called to say he had gone over the points we had made with the sellers solicitors and that the outstanding issues were agreed and we might be able to sign the contract as ealy as the following week. More importantly, on the morning of 12 Dec our solicitor confirmed this by e-mail and also sent us the site plan we had been waiting for for the past year. A completed contract will secure two important grants and loans and ensure we can start work next year, hopefully opening in 2019.
Remember you can still buy shares in the project which entitles you to select the management committee, have a say in how it is run and how any surplus profits are to be used back into our community.
Watch out for work on the site next year. Some will be self help and we will be appealing for help from the community. Might mean wielding a pick and shovel or a paint brush or keeping the "workers" supplied with tea or coffee!
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