Order of Events:
- In October 2013 Greene King sold our village pub as a ‘going concern’.
- The new owner, Mr Bell, immediately closed the pub without any prior notice.
- The community reacted strongly, an Action Group was formed, a petition was signed and The Tree was listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
- Public Meetings were held and a leaflet delivered to every household in Stapleford and a number in Great Shelford. The leaflet included an invitation to pledge financial support.
- 83 residents have pledged £130,500 as at 22 April 2017.
- The Stapleford Parish Council, South Cambs District Council, CAMRA, The Plunkett Foundation and The Pub is the Hub have been very helpful in providing advice and support.
- We have kept parishioners informed on progress via the Parish Magazine.
- The Action Group members have visited other community managed pubs to gain detailed information and advice.
- A Business Plan has been produced (see link above). It clearly demonstrates the financial viability of a re-opened public house including accommodation and catering facilities.
- We have written to the owner on several occasions inviting him to enter negotiations but have received no response.
- In February 2017, the Action Group met two District Councillors and two South Cambs Officers. Their advice was that we had a good case in favour of a Compulsory Purchase Order and the Council would be prepared to give such a request serious consideration at a full Council Meeting.
- The Action Group has contacted community organisations and local businesses to establish their level of support. We are strengthening our communications and publicity strategy and trying to increase the number of financial pledges from individuals.
- We have successfully applied to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for incorporation as ‘The Tree Community Limited’, the Plunkett Foundation has accepted our application for grant funding and we have in principal agreement to take out a bank mortgage.
- We have received a grant of £1,000 from the Parish Council and a bursary of £2,500 from the Plunkett Foundation to assist with initial costs.
The Tree Community Action Group: