The George

The Future of Winsham Community Shop & Post Office ?
 It depends on you!

Future of Winsham Shop & Post Office

Progress Reports

Future of Winsham Shop & Post office 14th July 2017 - Update

As the deadline for loan pledges towards buying “The George” as the location for Winsham Shop & Post Office approaches, we are delighted to share that we are making excellent progress.

Over £250,000 pledged thus far in just two weeks towards our target of £300,000.

This is fantastic news and gives us the confidence that we can succeed and make this project a reality

We still need your assistance in any way you are able to help us reach this target.

 Please do not wait until it is too late if you want to support the shop.

-        Please get your pledge forms in ASAP (Click HERE) Please note the minimum investment on which interest is paid is £500

-        If you cannot invest this much then please buy a share or shares in £10 multiples which is a donation to the shop reserves. Buying shares  shows your support for the shop and means you have a say in how the shop is run at the Annual General Meeting  (application forms available in the shop)

A big thank you

To all of you who have shown your support in all sorts of different ways, from signing our petition, putting a few quid in our donation box, shopping a little more with us when you can, and to those who have pledged funds to invest in purchasing The George.

We greatly appreciate all the efforts made by all our customers and supporters

We feel it is essential to keep the shop in the heart of the village and we hope to share further news with you over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions please ask in the shop or contact us at:

winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com

 

Winsham Shop Management Committee

 Update 7th July 
The proposal to buy The George is gaining momentum and support with 31 households and 4 Winsham supporters pledging to date has brought the total to £130,000 in the first week.

 This is good news, ahead of what we had in place for The Bell project after the same amount of time, but we still have a long way to-go towards our £300,000 target .

 In addition on 5th July we gained the support of our Parish Council for this proposal and funding towards supporting our ‘change of use' application

 However, as our deadline of 15th July for pledges looms we still have lots of opportunity for more support in a village with over 350 households who will all benefit from having a shop.

 No one said this was going to be easy.

One of the questions some are asking is what would be the situation if our bid to buy 'The George' was not to succeed.

It is a good question, but one to which we cannot know the answer. It is clear that nearly everyone wants a village shop and post office, but just wanting is not enough.


The reality is that the current community shop model is losing money. Furthermore there is a 14% rent increase due in January, 2018, increased electricity costs and increased wage costs due to the Government living wage policy, with no real prospect of increasing the  overall turnover from a location that is too small and badly ventilated. The situation does not look good.

There is also a real possibility of the lease not being renewed in 2019 due to the noise and vibration problems created by the essential refrigeration services.


There are no other locations in prospect & no other properties, or suitable land on which a shop might be built has been offered to us to buy.

It has been implied by some that there must be another way, but what?

We have already looked at taking as much cost out as possible out of the way we operate. In January 2017 we reduced our opening hours by 2.5 hours a week, but how far do we go until we start losing turnover and losing customers? 

 It is our community shop and we want to solve this problem together. We invite those who believe they have a different solution to come forward and share with us how it can be done.

 The questions to be addressed in this solution are:

·      Where can we locate the shop?

·      How much will it cost to create?

·      How will it be funded?

·      What will be the turnover, costs and opening hours? 

 

We, the Shop Management Committee have done our utmost to come up with the best solution we can to change our model and become profitable and we seek your support for this proposal. However, we can only do it with your support  and communicate the  seriousness of the situation of why things have to change.

 Do not wait until it is too late. It is your shop in your village and it is your choice how you contribute to solving our collective problem.

I
n the meantime if anyone wishes to discuss further please contact us on winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com and refer to detailed proposal on below link .

 Please can all pledges be in by 15th July. Please note there will be no decision to finalise purchase of The George without the involvement of all investors and change of use being in place

 We appreciate that not everybody has got spare cash, but all our customers are valued. Please show your support in other ways such as signing our petition in the shop or volunteering your time to further reduce our costs.

 Winsham Shop Management Committee

 

Previously (3rd July, 2017)
Most will know that, unexpectedly, The George, in Back Street, has become available to the village shop and post-office to  buy.

The search for a new home for the shop and post office has been ongoing for several months , following the Bell project being unable to proceed. For those who are new to this, the need to move is motivated by the existing premises, after serving the village as a shop for over one hundred and seventy years, being no longer fit for that purpose- problems arising mainly from the  need for a large refrigeration capacity, and rising rent costs. 

Every possibility for a new location has been explored. For example there had been informal discussions with the Jubilee Hall about the practicality of sharing the location. These came to an end when it was agreed that it could not be viable-as much on the grounds of access and cost, as well as other considerations.

The construction of a new building was also discussed, but land was not available, and, anyway, costs were likely to make the idea untenable. Other possibilities were also considered, but none were, eventually, possible.

No stone has been left  unturned, and we are now facing a serious risk of losing the shop, if we cannot find a suitable solution.

Many people took the opportunity to see  The George  over the weekend of July 1st. The general consensus seems to share the opinion of the Winsham Shop and Post Office management  that it  offers very suitable accommodation with very little amendment, as it stands. The room for expansion, including an inside area for a small cafe, which in fine weather could easily expand outside around the Market Cross was also found to be exciting.

For this to happen it will be necessary to raise approximately £300,000 from the people of Winsham-but not as donations-as an investment. The detail of this is summarised in the information below. However for the project to continue it is necessary to establish how much support can be expected, hence the idea of 'pledges' similar to the idea which made the purchase of  'The Bell' a possibility.

After reading the information below, the management of Winsham Shop and Post Office are asking readers to complete the down-loadable Pledge form and return it to them as soon as possible, and not later than the 15th July. Only then will we know that the project has a realistic prospect of proceeding further.

£300,000 is a considerable sum , but it is secured by the purchase  of a substantial property which is likely to grow in value as the years go by. It  is possible that in the event of a modest short-fall in the amount from pledges, this could be made up from a loan, but we wish to avoid this if possible.

The pledges are , of course, not binding. However it is important that they are made in a serious manner. It is important also that in making a pledge that no-one seriously over-extends themselves in a financial sense, and if in doubt, professional advice should be sought. In the event that the project proceeds,  the funds are likely to be needed in the Autumn. Prior to that all the necessary legal documentation will be provided  to prospective investors.

The months ahead, if the level of 'pledges' enables the project to proceed,  the work will be considerable for the shop and post -office management , with many administrative hurdles and costs to be overcome, not least 'change -of use' planning approval and road-safety considerations discussed with the County Councils Highways department. However one has to be confident that such issues will be satisfactorily resolved, and we will be looking to Winsham Parish Council and the residents of Winsham to support the applications.
Winsham Shop Management Committee

PREVIEW















Nearly two hundred Winsham residents visited the Open Day.

THE DETAIL
The Proposal BButton
The Pledge Form


For more general information you may find the links below helpful:
Plunkett logo
The Plunkett Foundation is supporting The George project by providing invaluable advice and support. Click on Logo.

Information from HMRC on Social Investment Tax Relief can be found by CLICKING HERE.




The historical background to two significant buildings
Interesting links to the history of Winsham Shop and the history of The George Inn.


TOP PUB-The George
The George


WINSHAM WEB MUSEUM
WINSHAM SHOP
The Story of over 150 years of service to the village
WINSHAM SHOP- the village

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