Crunch time is approaching the Save the Glamorgan campaign, as they are asking supporters to dig into their pockets to secure the future of the 170-year-old building on Cheery Orchard Road, close to East Croydon Station.
The group that was formed five years ago to try to keep one of the oldest pubs in Croydon operating as a local boozer has its annual general meeting on October 21, but before that they are asking supporters to give an indication whether they would want to buy in as share-holders on the project.
It’s a similar model which rescued The Hope at Carshalton from near-oblivion a decade ago, since when the community-owned pub has won numerous Pub of the Year awards and continues to be much-valued by customers from across south London.
Earlier this year, members of the Save the Glam campaign stepped in when the property developers who own the building indicated that they were about to sell it – even though, given The Glamorgan’s ACV status – Asset of Community Value – they are obliged by law to offer the property to the community first.
Unable to get planning permission for their scheme to build a 10-storey block of flats on the site, the owners are thought to want to try to squeeze £2.2million out of the property sale. Under ACV rules they will have to let the community group, which has formed a community interest company, Glamorgan Phoenix CIC, to purchase the building for something closer to market rate, estimated to be £1.5million.
The campaigners have already “secured significant help and advice from the Plunkett Foundation, who are assisting in identifying the optimal way of attracting investment and obtaining grants and other funding in order to finance our bid for the freehold”.
And they also have the support from two local breweries, Dorking and The Cronx. Last month Cronx vacated their bar premises in Boxpark, expressing the hope of relocating in central Croydon.
In a message to campaign supporters, the organisers say,”Now our moment is fast approaching, to seize The Glam back from the developers and restore it to our community.”
One move is to accrue as much “shareholder” funding so that the CIC can better access supporting grants, loans and investment. The CIC is seeking share purchases from £500 to £5,000, or more.
“We have until December 11, when the current moratorium ends, to submit a serious bid for the freehold, using our recently created community company Glamorgan Phoenix. The owners cannot sell to a non-community based concern before then.
“In our discussions with our business adviser from the Plunkett Foundation we have identified various options, but for all of them we must demonstrate there is strong community backing (especially financial) for the bid.
“Although Cronx and Dorking breweries are keen to invest in the venture, providing significant funds, a degree of community commitment is also essential. Grants to match community raised funds may be available.”
The questions being put to the community are:
- Would you be able and willing to invest in Glamorgan Phoenix, buying shares, the cost of which may be refunded to you some time in the future when or if The Glamorgan is running again and generating profits?
- Would you be able and willing to invest in Glamorgan Phoenix, buying shares that may produce interest payments when or if The Glamorgan is running again and generating profits?
- If so, how much could you invest?
For more information about the campaign, visit their Facebook page here (and yes, we know… after five years, the campaign does not have a website of its own, nor an easily discoverable email address through which to make enquiries or offers of help or investment. Let’s hope that they don’t miss out on some significant chunk of money as a consequence).
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