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Plunkett Foundation Bursary

Plunkett Foundation Bursary

Before we go on I’d like to remind readers that we will have a ‘save the pub’ meeting on Thursday the 6th July at 8pm at the Dry Dayton school hall (next to the pub). Everyone is welcome including those from surrounding villages. Please come along and hear what we have been up to and how we plan to save the pub, how you can help and how you can become an investor in a valuable community asset!

Note also that on Tuesday the 4th July there will be a pop up pub in support of our campaign, come along for beers and a BBQ, 6:45pm until late!

We have some good news to share – the Plunkett Foundation have just granted us a £2500 bursary to help with our mission to save the pub!

The Plunkett Foundation is a not for profit organisation that provides expert help and funding to groups such as ours who are looking to set up a community owned enterprise. We are very grateful to the Foundation, and particularly our advisor Alan Collard, for all of the help and support to date especially taking the time to join us at our steering group meetings (which usually go on until quite late!). Alan has been advising us on our business structure, and is also a veteran pub saver having been one of the first to organise a community group to successfully buy his local back in the 1990s.

While we are at it we would also like to thank our other expert advisor, Bernard Lee, from Pub is the Hub for his support of our effort and again for joining us at meetings to offer invaluable advice especially around the day to day business aspects of running a community owned pub, and what has worked well for many of the other 50 successful community owned pubs around the country (note that of those 50 pubs, all are still thriving, and none have failed – 100% success rate so far!).

Pub is the Hub Logo

Plunkett Foundation and Pub is the Hub, we thank you!

Latest News 18-06-2017

Latest News 18-06-2017

It’s been a little while since we’ve posted any updates, but we’ve been very busy!

We’ve confirmed that we will have a ‘save the pub’ meeting on the 6th July at 8pm at the Dry Dayton school hall (next to the pub). Everyone is welcome including those from surrounding villages.

At the ‘save the pub’ meeting as we will be explaining exactly how we will save the pub and presenting our draft business plan and investors prospectus. Please come along and hear what we have to say, we can only save the pub with the help and support of the local community!

On polling day, the 8th of June, we had a stand outside Dry Drayton Village Hall to collect the paper surveys which we had posted through everyone’s door (in Dry Drayton) over the previous week. We were surprised at the almost universal positive response, enjoyed chatting to many locals and we do now know that there is an overwhelming desire from the community to save the pub, which is great news!

We have had a very good response to our survey; 193 responses to date with 70% of responses from Dry Drayton residents, 25% from Bar Hill and the rest from other surrounding villages. We’ve had lots of good feedback and suggestions, thank you! If you haven’t taken part in our survey yet we really would value your input, click HERE to complete the online version.

On Friday the 16th a sub-team of the steering group met to kick off formally writing the business plan for the pub – the plan is to have everything in draft form ready for the 6th July. The Survey feedback and Alan’s advice has been critical – thanks to Alan, and our local community!

We are now being officially supported by the Plunkett Foundation who provide support to communities who are looking to provide a community owned asset (pub, shop, etc.). On Wednesday the 14th we had a visit from Alan Collard, who is and advisor for the Plunkett Foundation. Alan is supporting our application for some seed funding and then (hopefully) for Government grant and loan money (of which there is up to £100,000 available). As well as this Alan is advising us on our legal entity and how to raise money from the local community by (for example) issuing community shares. There are many examples of communities (often smaller than Dry Drayton) having managed to raise enough funds to buy their pubs so we are very optimistic.

Alan Collard from the Plunkett Foundation joins us for our steering group meeting
Online Survey Now Ready

Online Survey Now Ready

A short but serious post today – your views are very important to us, so if you could spare the time to fill in our online survey we would be very grateful as it will help shape the future of the Black Horse.

In due course we will share the results, in the meantime thank you in advance for your participation.

BHSG Meeting 29-05-2017

BHSG Meeting 29-05-2017

Another week and another steering group meeting, this time at the Lord Conrad’s Brewery Tap featuring 400 Degrees Pizza (the beer and pizza were both excellent!)

We’ve had a good week with plenty of signups to our newsletter and questions from potential investors.

This meeting mostly focused on:

  • When we should hold our first village meeting to explain to the community how we are planning on saving the pub, and also explain how to become an investor
    • We are planning on confirming a date during the first week of July
  • How to raise awareness of our event(s) and cause
    • leafleting Dry Drayton and also geographically close communities such as Bar Hill, Hardwick and Cambourne
    • Pages in local newsletters
    • Roadside signs
    • Visiting other events to talk to the community and give out leaflets/information
  • How to gather feedback from the community on ideas / wants for the pub (online questionnaire and paper questionnaire at events)
  • The business plan – we have a couple of business plans from pubs hat have been successfully saved by the local community as a great starting template, and a good idea of what we need to do.
    • The plan is to have a draft business plan and investor prospectus to present at our community meeting in July

In addition to the above we’ve also commissioned a valuation of the pub and submitted forms to the Plunkett Foundation who have provided invaluable support and advice to other successfully saved pubs.

Pizza. Beer. Pub saving.
Bank Holiday News

Bank Holiday News

Just a couple of items of news to keep everyone updated on this oh so typical of May bank holidays (sunshine – check, wind – check, thunderstorms and pouring rain- check!).

Firstly, we’ve said it a lot before and we’ll say it again – a big thank you to Mythic Beasts for providing our web hosting, and now they’ve also been blogging about our cause, true supporters!

We also want to remind our readers that Lord Conrad’s Brewery is having a pop up pub this bank holiday weekend – members of the steering group will be there as much as possible to give out leaflets and answer questions about our efforts to save the Black Horse – hope to see you there!

BHSG Meeting 23-05-2017

BHSG Meeting 23-05-2017

The Black Horse Steering Group (BHSG) met again tonight after a very busy week in which we’ve:

  • Written an article and been photographed for the Dry Drayton Newsletter
  • Built a website and newsletter mailing list
  • Created a social media profile (Twitter and Facebook) and started gaining followers!
  • Put up posters and talked to people at the Cambridge Beer Festival (we may also have drunk some beer at this point…)
  • Investigated how to get the pub professionally valued
  • Talked to CAMRA about how they can help us
  • Filled out the forms required to engage with the Plunkett Foundation so they will hopefully be able to provide us with invaluable advice on the detail of how to create our business entity, business plan and bid for the pub.
  • Talked to other groups who are saving or have saved their pubs to understand how they are doing/have done it (thanks particularly to Mark from
  • Other things I’ve probably forgotten…!

Importantly, we are at the point we have a good understanding of the steps required to be able to raise the funds required to save the Black Horse and put together a bid.

The BHSG agreed we would aim to hold at least 2 village meetings to explain what we are doing and how we are planning to save the pub. These meetings may also be pop up pubs (TBD – watch this space for more info!).

We also agreed to leaflet drop the village and put up posters to spread the word about the pub, and when the meetings are being held.

We were reminded that Lord Conrad’s Brewery are having a pop up pub over this bank holiday weekend and some of the BHSG will try and be there as much of the weekend as possible to explain what we’re doing to interested punters.

Here’s a picture of us looking tired but also quite surprised at how productive we’ve been this week!


And here is a picture of the pub looking rather splendid this morning, to remind us what we’re working hard for!
Posters at the Beer Festival!

Posters at the Beer Festival!

Thanks to Bert, Will and the guys at Cambridge CAMRA for offering their help and advice; and letting us put up posters at the 44th Cambridge Beer Festival!

We’ve already had some new subscribers to our newsletter.

New Website Up!

New Website Up!

Hello internet – we’re up and running!

Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with our progress to save The Black Horse.

Watch this blog for more info, meanwhile please have a look around the site to see what we are doing and how you can help us!

Huge thanks to Mythic beasts for providing our hosting!

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