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Month: August 2017

Lease Sold!

Lease Sold!

At our public meeting on the 4th August we mentioned rumors that the lease for the Black Horse was about to be sold, but we had no substantive evidence this was the case. Yesterday we were made aware of a removals van outside the pub and today we have a sign saying lease sold – so the rumors appear to have been true!

We have not yet made contact with the new tenants but are looking forward to meeting them and hearing their plans for the pub. We hope our efforts so far will help guide them in what services they provide and we will be on hand to help and advise as needed.

So what next? For now we are carrying on as normal, but will review the situation as we get more information. We will of course keep everyone updated via our blog, social media and newsletter at this exciting time.

A big thank you once again to everyone who has come with us on this journey so far – having raised £200,000 in pledges to date we’ve proved beyond doubt (to South Cambs District Council, as well as ourselves!) that we do not want to lose our pub. We have also really enjoyed getting together with so many of you over a pint or chatting at meetings or events.

**NOTE we will still be holding our pop-up pub on the 30th September 5-11pm in the Village Hall**

On the 30th we will also give a short update on what is happening and hopefully by this point we can start looking forward to getting together again for a pint at the Black Horse!

-The Black Horse Steering Group

We Have a Business Plan!

We Have a Business Plan!

Today we’ve published the first version of our business plan, which can be found on our PLEDGE page!

It’s been quite a while in the making as we have been putting all the pieces together, creating the financial models, consulting with our experts and writing it all up to our satisfaction. We believe it is now reflects our vision for the pub, and is ready for general release.

We’d also like to remind people that we are still taking pledges, and still need to get as close to our £250,000 target as we can. Hopefully anyone who was waiting to read the business plan before pledging now has all the information they need to make a decision.

As usual, if there are any questions about the business plan (or any aspect of our efforts) please drop us an email, or we’ll be very happy to chat at the pop-up-pub this weekend! – the Black Horse Steering Group will be attending the event and at least one of us should be around.

You can email us at the usual address:

Black Horse Beer, Bottle shop and Pop-Up Pub!

Black Horse Beer, Bottle shop and Pop-Up Pub!

This week we have news of our next bank holiday pop-up pub this weekend, in aid of saving the Black Horse, at Lord Conrad’s brewery, Saturday to Monday (26-28th August) inclusive from 2pm-10pm, including pop-up pizza on the Sunday and Monday.

This event will also include specially brewed Save the Black Horse ale! We’ve been informed this is a 3.5% ABV pale, slightly hazy beer with passion fruit notes at first followed by satisfying hoppy finish. But don’t just take our word for it, you can visit Lord Conrad’s bottle shop this week which is at the brewery and open from Tuesday the 22nd through Monday the 28th August from 11am-6pm where you can stock up on Save the Black Horse Ale along with other Lord Conrad’s favorites!

During the bottle shop and pop-up pub we will be selling Save the Black Horse tankards, in aid of saving the pub. Purchasing one of these fine pieces of merchandise will not only help us in our mission but also gain the buyer six tokens, each of which give 50 pence off the purchase of a pint at the pop-up pub!

Our graphics whizz kid Ed has produced this marvelous poster for the pop-up event (click the image to download a PDF version):

Members of the Black Horse Steering Group will be around during the pop-up pub and we hope to see many of you there – as usual we’d be delighted to chat and answer any questions.

A final note to remind people that we are still taking pledges, and still need to get as close to our £250,000 target as we can. For those waiting to read our business plan, we are nearly there now and hope to have this published in the next few days (watch this space).

Second Public Meeting

Second Public Meeting

On the Friday 4th August Dry Drayton Village Hall played host to our second public meeting as well as pop-up pub from Lord Conrad’s brewery and pop-up food from Nanna Mexico.

It was a busy evening and it was fantastic to see everyone enjoying the event and such great community engagement and support for saving the pub. We also had a guest speaker, Bernard Lee, from Pub is the Hub who shared some information about other saved pubs – and was very complimentary of our efforts!

Much like our first meeting, the Village Hall was full with standing room only and again the audience listened attentively to our update and there was a good Q&A session at the end. We believe we managed to answer all questions to everyone’s satisfaction, but as was said in the meeting we are always open to any questions so if you still want answers to any aspect of our effort please send an email to:

Following are some of the important points from meeting.


Our pledge-o-meter continues to be updated regularly and is still climbing! Although we have passed our August 1st deadline and have reached over 72% of our target we still need to achieve £250,000 of pledges so we are still taking pledges, and will continue to do so until we launch the formal share offer.

We produced a graph for the meeting showing the pledge amounts coming in over time – it shows that there has been consistent pledging throughout – and therefore if we continue to raise pledges at the same rate we should have £250,000 some time mid-end August.


After much effort, and input from our various experts and advisors our business plan is almost complete. We hope to publish this very soon, all going well. Within the plan we have tried to offer the most important services as identified by our community survey, but also be realistic in what we can do given there will need to be a relatively large sum spent just on bringing the pub back up to a good state of repair and refitting the (currently stripped out) fixtures and fittings such as the kitchen.


During the meeting we spent some time going over a little more technical detail of the formal share offer and how the shares work. A lot of this info can be found in the notes on the PLEDGE page, and the soon-to-be-published business plan has a section which explains the important bits of how the shares work in an easy to digest manner.

We will launch the formal share offer once we have:

  1. The published business plan (coming soon!)
  2. The SITR tax-relief scheme approved on the share offer (ongoing with HMRC)
  3. An offer in principle accepted by the owner of the Black Horse


An initial, formal offer for the freehold of the pub has been made to the agents based on our professional valuation (and copied to South Cambs District Council). Although the offer has been rejected, we will continue our dialog with the agent. We are also trying to contact the owners of the pub to try and engage them in honest dialog about our efforts, the valuation of the pub and if they were willing to come to a deal. It is still our intent to try and buy the freehold of the Black Horse and we have taken the first steps to do this well before the ACV moratorium ends on the 6th September so we are doing very well!

Even though this initial offer has been turned down it has provided very strong evidence (to the council) that the community want to keep the pub, and therefore makes it very unlikely that the council would grant change of use of the property.


Here’s anther slide from the meeting showing the key next steps we need to take to re-open the pub. Note that DDCE is “Dry Drayton Community Enterprises Ltd.” the Community Benefit Society we have set up to buy and run the Black Horse for the community.


Finally – thanks to all who attended, we’ll say it again that we are truly humbled by the support of the community and it’s always very rewarding to set up an event or meeting and see the community get together!

Also very sincere thanks to those who have pledged – without pledges we would not be in the strong position we are today, having already made an offer for the pub!

So thank you!