Former café will offer more than just coffee

By Mark Elson   |   Senior Reporter   |
Thursday 28th February 2019 11:56 am
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A FOREST café which closed in April last year may be saved for the community thanks to a new scheme, launched on Friday (March 1), allowing local residents the opportunity to purchase a stake in it.

A community share offer to raise money for The George Café in Newnham, would see it established as a multi-use community hub according to organisers.

The community share launch at the Armoury Villlage Hall in Newham is part of plans to raise £500,000 to buy and remodel the café.

Sarah Tempest, treasurer for ReNewnham - the group of local residents putting together the proposals, said: “We are launching our share offer to buy The George this coming weekend with a presentation of the business plan and share offer by the ReNewnham Steering Group on Friday evening, plans and proposals on display on Saturday and an informal brunch on Sunday.”

Investors, who are being asked for between £20 and £20,000 between March 1 and 31, can expect to see a return on their investments around four years after the purchase takes place, according to ReNewnham’s business forecast.

The group hopes to raise a minimum of £150,000 through selling shares, with the remainder of the money coming from grants and crowd-funding.

“The building that housed The George Café was added to the list of community assets by the Forest of Dean District Council,” Sarah added, “and Newnham-on-Severn Community Benefit Society Ltd hopes to buy the building to run it as a community business.

“With the lifting of tolls on the Severn Bridge and eighty new homes about to be added to the village, now is the time to look to the future and expand the range of amenities available to local people and to visitors.

“The opportunity to buy The George for the community is there for the taking – it will not come again.

“This is one of the Forest of Dean’s most beautiful villages and it has some wonderful, thriving shops and outlets, but services have been steadily declining.

“We have taken all possible steps to ensure that our share offer is in line with current best practice, but no investment is risk-free.”

If funding is successful, the building will provide a central meeting place, open all day, and house the post office. Equipment and fittings are already in place for a café and gallery.

The weekend’s events take place on March 1 from 7pm to 9pm, March 2 from 10.30am to 2pm and on March 3 from 10.30am to 1pm.

For more information, contact Paul Mannning of Re-Newnham on (01594) 516259 or email [email protected]

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