Soooo….after months and months of work we can share we have bought The Clipper!
Yes, that’s right…the pub that used to be a 24 hour drinking destination is now a community asset. It’s exciting, scary and has so much possibilities, but before we get stuck in we wanted to share our journey.
We are renting Union Corner, it’s used by thousands of local people and it has supported lots of brilliant things to happen in our neighbourhood. It inspired us to do more and we realised that to really create sustainable uses in buildings – ownership is important. So we started to suss out how that could happen back in March 2017. Little did we know what a roller coaster we jumping on to…
March 2017 – We had our first look around the Clipper with Bailey Partnership and we wondered whether we could do it.
We dreamed, got excited and took the leap and made an offer. This is Wendy making ‘the call’…
April 2017 – we started to build a team of people around us to make sure we were setting up right and we could get in a good place to own a building. We had mentoring and business support from RIO, we met with Bright Solicitors who completely understood where we were coming from and talked through finances with Bromheads accountants.
May 2017 – After much chasing and waiting our offer was turned down. We tried to get some funding and that was turned down too – not the best month!
June 2017 – We decided to set up an organisation ready for a building anyway and after much exploring settled on Community Benefit Society.
July 2017 – We built up plans for finance, how we would measure social impact and explored what uses might work in the building.
August 2017 – We shared our ideas with key people in the community and in the city and decided we just really, really, really wanted to bring the Clipper back in to use – it just felt right!
September 2017 – We sorted all the papers, signed them (in one of our local pubs the Artillery Arms) and before we knew it Nudge officially became a Community Benefit Society – with a proper number and everything!
We looked around again with Bailey Partnership and Plymouth College of Art, we put an offer in again but it wasn’t really taken seriously. It’s quite tricky to buy a building as a community!
We had to prove we could get the money together…but then we lost our investor for the deposit. It could have been the end but within a couple of hours four new investors had come aboard and we were back on track. This was such a boost for us – knowing we had people that believed in us and this project so much.
We finally had a contract issued, Bright Solicitor were on it! Our investors signed their loan agreements and the Council agreed their loan secured against the building…we exchanged!
November 2017 – We had a bit more of a waiting game as the Council did their due diligence and prepared transfer their loan.
We finally completed on 10 November and picked up the keys, and now the adventure really begins on Nudge 4
If you would like to help or join us on our journey please get in touch.
Hannah & Wendy – Co Directors xxx