The #SaveTheSilks campaign has received a significant boost toward its fundraising efforts via a conditional offer from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.
A funding package totalling £60,000, consisting of a £30,000 grant, match funded by a £30,000 loan has been awarded to the Ogbourne Community Pub Society, whose focus is to buy and save on behalf of the community the currently closed ‘Silks On The Downs’ Pub in Ogbourne St Andrew. This financial contribution demonstrates that the More Than a Pub programme supports the society’s ambition to purchase ‘Silks On The Downs’, which will mainly be achieved via a community share offer, as well as its business plan and community benefit programme to re-establish and run a healthy pub for the benefit of the community.
The goal of the share offer is to raise over £240,000 with the funding package being additional to help reach the final figure to enable the purchase of the pub. Since its launch on 10 February the #SaveTheSilks community share offer has raised over £120,000, however, the same amount is required to fulfil its ambition. The share offer is live and welcomes anyone to buy shares starting from £200 and runs until the 31 May 2021.
If successful with its purchase, the pub will become a major community hub providing a warm and welcoming space to meet as well as a valuable lifeline to the community. The Silks, as it is known locally, has not opened its doors since the pandemic struck last March, however, the owner has offered the community the opportunity to buy the pub, renovate it and run it for the benefit of the community.
Harriet Rochester from the Ogbourne Community Pub Society commented:
“We are very grateful to the Plunkett Foundation’s ‘More Than A Pub’ Programme generous conditional funding offer to help us as a community move closer to our goal of purchasing the pub. Although this is a welcome boost it is really important to express at this stage for this to really happen we need all the support possible to raise more money from the share offer. Therefore, I would urge anyone who is able to please buy shares and help preserve this historical pub as an important asset to the community”.
Plunkett Foundation’s Executive Director, James Alcock, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to support the Ogbourne Community Pub Society who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings. Pubs that are owned and run by the community are so much more than a place to buy a drink; they provide important social spaces and services for local people and are central to their community’s sense of place and identity.”
For more information, members of the public are encouraged to read the Community Share Offer, which provides much more detail and is available at www.savethesilks.org.