By any measure our share offer was an outstanding success, not least because it brought us 79 new Trust members. Many are from Parracombe and surrounding parishes, others have a connection but live further away while some just want to support an exciting and much-needed venture.
To briefly recap. We had to raise a bare minimum £80,000 for the project – £40,000 from the community plus £40,000 from Booster Programme match-funding.
But we set our sights higher than that to give the Pavilion its best chance to thrive long-term. By the time the offer closed on 19th October, almost 100 households had raised an incredible £62,445. With match-funding that makes a total of £124,890, or 86% of our maximum target. It’s a fantastic result. We thank everyone who invested and the trust they placed in us to deliver the Pavilion project for our community.
Now the hard work begins. We’re completing final paperwork for our share offer match and we expect to receive the Booster Programme funds shortly. Building regulation plans have been submitted for approval, invitations for construction tenders have gone out and it is hoped contractors can be selected by the end of November. The Trust’s shop committee has appointed a project delivery team to oversee construction.
Securing 86% of our maximum initial funding target has been a huge vote of confidence. But we can’t stop there. We still need to secure sufficient operating capital and we’re making grant applications to supplement costs during our first 12 to 18 months of trading.
The Covid-19 national emergency has meant many grant funders, understandably, have focused on urgent support. But several are now launching longer-term Covid-19 impact recovery programmes. Of course, when we started the Pavilion Stores project we couldn’t have guessed what 2020 would throw at us. Covid-19 was certainly not in the business plan. But localism and community resilience is what we’re about and Covid-19 has certainly shown the need for that. So, while grant funding is a fiercely competitive business, we’re quietly confident we have a strong case.
We will keep you updated on our progress.