Frequently Asked Questions - Blue Bell Community Hub

Lets answer a few of your questions

What is a Community Benefit Society?

A Community Benefit Society is a legal entity that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is a not-for-profit organisation. They are springing up all over the country, helping to save and enhance local amenities for communities under threat from unwelcome development.

How can we make this happen?

Financial support for the Phase 2 of the project – The Blue Bell Community Hub Refurbishment Fund is critical. The total refurbishment cost is £150,000 and the balance of this will be achieved through further Community Share sales, donations, grants, other investors and community fundraising events.

Pledged v Target

Target £150,000
Pledged £10,000

What's happened so far?

The community bought the Blue Bell (we completed the purchase on 30th April) through a combination of community share, donations, local and national grants and loans. The Community Share Offer Scheme has been supported by over 92 local households to date and will remain open to all future investors and any newcomers to the village and the surrounding area.

A Community Share Offer Scheme means the motivation and payback will be more socially focused than financial. Such a scheme helps to ensure a genuinely local enterprise, accountable to the community white serving and benefiting it.

Why is this important?

For most villages a pub is a vital service. It acts as a meeting place, a communication centre and an important lynchpin of village life.Similarly, a convenience shop and post office can often be a vital lifeline. especially for those without transport, becoming an important connection with the world outside the village.

Much of the appeal of our village rests on its sense of community. It is the reason many people have moved here, remain here and wish it to remain as it is. The presence of a community hub that combines a pub, shop and post office would continue to maintain the community spirit that our village embodies. It is also the heart of the village and the heart of the South Downs National Park with its over 18 million visitors each year.

What's been achieved?

On 30th April 2019 the sale of The Blue Bell was completed with the financial support of so many Cocking residents, friends and supporters, some loans and partner grants. The Blue Bell Community Hub can now move forward, and tenders are currently out for the works required to complete the project and get the building open and serving the local community

This kind of venture has been successfully achieved in other communities all over the country, Currently, there are 85 co-operative pubs and over 300 community-owned shops, most set up with the charitable support of the Plunkett Foundation ( and they have a 100% success rate.

How can I help?

Our main concern is raising enough funds to refurbish the property. If you could help through either a donation, loan or participation in our share scheme it would be much appreciated.

Others are helping with pledging their time renovating the pub, from the initial setup of the project to managing the enterprise, and, perhaps, day-to-day involvement with the practical running of the community hub.

If you wish to speak directly to someone about this project, please email and we will be in touch.

Why the urgency?

We want to re-open the Blue Bell as soon as humanly possible.

Our feeling is that the longer it is closed, the more the Blue Bell will deteriorate, and its reputation dwindle. Impetus will be lost, and with it, all chance of creating something special for the village and the surrounding area.

So we need to raise the £150,000 to refurbish it. This will be achieved through a combination of further Community Share sales, donations, grants, other investors and community fund raising events

Now we own it we need to refurbish it as soon as possible so we can have our very own Community Hub in Cocking.

Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions that was available at the Public Meeting on Friday 18th January 2019, the document contains over 50 questions.

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