How is this going to benefit the community of Osgathorpe?
The Storey Arms, run by Philip and Sue, has been an asset to the community for many years. As well as a pub the Storey Arms has provided a key venue for village events like the open gardens, bonfire nights, barbeques, quizzes, curry competitions and many more. It is a place where people can meet and socialise.
The Story Arms is listed as an Asset of Community Value which means that the local Council recognises that it "furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community". It also gives the community a right to bid for it and makes granting planning consent for ‘change of use’ (such as housing development) unlikely. We know lots of people don’t use the pub as it is now, but as a community owned venture it is within your power to make it what you want it to be. It will be your community hub and we want you to have your say in what it turns in to.
We have had direct discussion with a number of successful community pubs to see how they were set up and to look for a model suitable for Osgathorpe. The options could include:
Tenant run: The community would own the building and lease the pub to a Tenet Landlord who would live above the pub, pay rent to the village and run it. This rent would provide recurring income to the village, which through the Parish Council, will be available to fund all sorts of other initiatives that will benefit our community.
The community runs the pub: We could employ a barperson manager who would work in lieu of their rent, or it could be run by unpaid volunteers, or a mixture of both.
Each of the options have their pros and cons and the approach we will recommend to the village for discussion will be finalised when we know the details of the purchase agreement.
Who is behind this and how can I be involved?
Osgathorpe Community Pub Limited (OCPL) was formed by a small group of village residents who believed passionately in preserving the Storey Arms, for the long term, as a valuable community asset.
The OCPL was set up as a Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 and it exists only to serve the interests of the community. None of these ‘committee members’ have any personal interest in the ownership of the freehold of the Storey Arms. They have been quietly working in the background over the last year agreeing with lawyers how the District Council and Parish Council make the funds available to buy the pub, as well as applying for grants to help costs and obtaining advice from several organisations.
We have kept the number of members of OCPL small up to now as we were not making any progress on the purchase the pub. However, where people have shown an interest we have asked for their input. If we make progress on the purchase, we will want to encourage as many people to become members as possible. We will publish information on becoming a member of the society through a share scheme and we plan to hold a launch meeting open to everyone.
Once a member of the society, you will be able to influence and vote on future decisions regarding the pub. Also, once we have some more members the society we will be able to hold an election to vote in a new committee to manage how we move forward. Every member of the community has the right to have a say in the future of the pub!