BBCHL’s (Blue Bell Community Hub Limited) proposal is to buy the Blue Bell site from the developers, upgrade the building and appoint a professional tenant with the experience and skills to run the pub and B&B rooms as a profitable and successful business for the benefit of the community and other users. Economies of scale can be achieved by incorporating the Post Office and shop into the same building all under one roof. Our objective is to have a friendly and welcoming village hub that serves real ale beers and sensibly priced freshly prepared wholesome food, is accessible by all (including disabled persons), is children, dog, walker and cyclist friendly, and provides for local needs identified through community consultation.
We envisage that hub will be more than a pub, and we propose to introduce a range of community amenities including a post office, a café and shop. The store will sell everyday essentials at affordable prices. It will also offer local produce and crafts and support local businesses. The café will serve a range of drinks and food and will act as a much – needed social hub for the village.
We will set a fair rent and agree a lease with the tenant who will run the pub as a free house selling food and drinks. The rent will be set at a level that gives the tenant the opportunity and incentive to run a profitable pub and B&B business, and which will provide the revenue for us to maintain the building, to repay any loans we take out, and in due course if cash reserves permit, to pay a modest interest to share-holders, and to fund the withdrawal of shares from time to time. Our investment is in the building and land – the bricks and mortar – not the licensed business.
We are planning to open our Cocking community hub in August 2019.