East Boldre Community Stores is no longer buying the shop and Post Office.
East Boldre Community Stores' was incorporated as a community benefit society with the aim of safeguarding the long-term future of East Boldre’s shop and Post Office, essential to the life, vitality and resilience of our village.
Our offer for the existing shop premises (which has been under threat of closure since 2014) was accepted in early January 2022 and, with a detailed business plan in place and an award of £250,000 from the government's Community Ownership Fund, we started to really push ahead with our local fundraising!
However, on the 22nd January 2022 the owner informed us that he intends to continue to run the shop and Post Office himself, deciding this is the best approach for both him and his family. The whole process of discussions with us over the last few months has crystalised his own needs and priorities. Therefore, he has decided to pull out of the agreement to sell the property to us. We have spoken to the owner at length and understand this is his final decision.
East Boldre Community Stores sole aim has been to keep the vital shop and Post Office in the village. We are pleased that the owner's decision does mean that this will continue. For us this is arguably a much simpler solution.
With the share offer ongoing we have made the difficult decision to immediately stop the fundraising process, we cannot continue in good faith.
East Boldre Community Stores Limited was incorporated as a community benefit society today.
We are listed on the Financial Conduct Authority's Mutual Public Register and at Companies House!
We had exciting plans for the business and, after all of the hard work to date, are clearly very disappointed we will not get a chance to implement them. We do hope to continue to work with the owner sharing our learning from other community shops and supporting this local business. We have also amassed a wealth of local contacts and knowledge e.g. fundraising that we hope might be useful to other community organisations.
We will be working over the next couple of weeks to wind up the society’s affairs including:
Communicating this change to the wider community via our website and newsletter and would be happy if you helped spread the news.
Repaying those who have already invested in our share offer - we will be in touch with them over the next few days.
Reclaiming outstanding monies (VAT, cancelling subscriptions etc)
Settling any outstanding invoices and returning remaining grants to the providers.
The community benefit society may be useful in future (and cost time and money to establish) so we anticipate retaining this but in a dormant state.
Finally, we would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who have supported us in our efforts. We hope in a small way to have strengthened the community by bringing people together who would otherwise not have met.
The EBCS Team 22/1/22