I hope you are well and keeping safe.
It is now clear that we must wind up the Ship Inn Share Issue offer and return all money to the investors. The Aldwick Community Society took that decision last night for the following reasons.
- We have only raised about £60,000 which is well short of the minimum target of £450,000. In the end, the community evidently could not support the campaign financially. That is the main reason for calling a halt to the Share Issue.
- The unforseen Covid crisis has made redundant our economic model and cash flow forecasts. Like all hospitality businesses today the Ship Inn would face real difficulties being viable given social distancing and government restrictions.
- In the present circumstances it is not certain that enough local customers would book, eat and drink at the Ship Inn pub-restaurant in sufficient numbers.
- We may well have faced increased refurbishment costs to make the building Covid safe.
- We are checking whether the site owners have indeed finally signed the lease with One Stop Stores. If they have, there is no prospect of our buying the freehold.
All the money will be returned to investors’ accounts in 28 days. We have a few cheques which have not been cashed and will be returned in the post.
There are certain commitments the Society has regarding company registration, the website, the membersmojo database, and the Plunkett Foundation. These will be reviewed although we would like to maintain the Friends data base so that we can communicate with you all in future. We would also like to continue our opposition to One Stop Stores and especially their attempts to unload articulated trucks on Aldwick Street.
We hope that the people of Aldwick can show their contempt for One Stop by refusing to shop in their store and that its fate will be the same as the former Morrisons and My Local convenience stores.
The Aldwick Community Society committee would like to thank you for your enthusiastic support during the campaign, attending the public meetings, and giving us the confidence to carry on. But in the end we couldn’t raise the cash.
Keep the Aldwick spirit alive and you never know we may get another opportunity.
Best of Luck,
Roger Beam. Chair. The Aldwick Community Society and the Friends of the Ship Inn.