The Storey Arms, Osgathorpe
Following the decision of the current owner of the Storey Arms to sell the pub, the Osgathorpe Community Pub Association (OCPA) was set up. It has been working for over a year to find a way of saving the Storey Arms for the whole village to use and enjoy.
This group is a community organisation uses rules drawn up by the Plunkett Foundation. These rules are designed to ensure the group is run for the benefit of the community and have been the method adopted by most groups trying to save their local pub or shop.
The Group has now been established as a legal entity as a Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit schemes Act 2014 as Osgathorpe Community Pub Limited (OCPL).
As you may know, at the end of 2014 the District Planning Committee (DPC) effectively approved the building of a number of houses on Dawson’s Road subject to the developer paying £300,000 to the District Council as part of a 106 agreement. We currently believe they will give this money to the Parish Council to potentially buy the Storey Arms and for other village improvements as agreed by the Parish Council.
The discussions at the Parish Council meeting prior to the village referendum showed the strong feeling against the building plans and although the village voted against it, the DPC still approved the building of the houses. Understandably there is hostility towards the building work, and it will have significant impact on some villages. However, the DPC has made its decision and the worst outcome would be that the houses are built and we still loose the community pub. The OCPL group has therefore been in discussions with the Parish Council on the next steps:
The Parish Council is discussing with the OCPL how the money from the developer can be used to save the pub, i.e. what would the legal agreement be with the OCPL and how this would work in practice to ensure the pub becomes a community asset. This is critical to establish as soon as possible. However, until the Planning Committee have agreed the payment terms with the Developer the time scale remains unclear.
When we have firm dates on when the money from the developer will be available formal discussions on buying the Storey Arms can begin and hopefully a deal concluded with the current owner.
The OCPL is completing a business case that would be presented to the Parish Council to justify the use of the £200,000 allocated to buy the Storey Arms by the DPC and also to bid for part of the remaining £100,000 for much needed repairs and renovations.
What we are already sure about is that any business case will be based on increased village support for the pub and we believe this will be helped if we can maximize the numbers of villages who become shareholders.
Request for interest in becoming a shareholder will be sent out once the rules of its operation are agreed with the Parish Council. Shareholders will be able to vote to elect the management committee and would have a stake in this community asset. The business case would be available for those interested in becoming a shareholder as would details of the rules that ensure the asset is protected for the village.
Please note the OCPL group is also targeting various grants that are available, with lottery money probably being the best hope for any substantial sums. Any monies awarded could help change the pubs structure to facilitate village meetings, children’s events or improve the pub for dining.
The Osgathorpe Community Pub Group
This legal entity’s management committee originally consisted of Martin Buczkiewicz, James Eddy, Jon Clarke, Kevin Adkins. For a number of reasons Martin and Jon have decided to resign from the group and James will take a step back from leading his leading role. Firstly, a very big thanks to James, Martin and Jon for setting up the group and their commitment to saving the pub for the village.
The OCPL Management Committee has therefore been reformed:
Role Name Current Focus
Chair Rob Whyard Project management, business case
Vice Chair Peter Hodgson Legal / contracts background
Secretary John Froggatt Grants
Treasurer Kevin Adkin Building renovation estimate
Member Dave Bull Business case
Member James Eddy
This management committee will be elected by shareholder at the first annual meeting after the once the pub has been purchased.
We also need to attract ‘non-pub’ people to give their input into making this an attractive community facility for all people in the village. We are conscious that the current management committee composition is not represented of the whole village (we are all male for a start) so ideally we need some different people involved and willing to help and make this a success.
If you would like to help please contact Rob Whyard
Save the Storey!
This will be our one and only chance.
Let's not lose the heart of Osgathorpe!