A community group that wishes to transform a historical high street building in Cheadle is asking for donations to help it in its next phase of potential progress. Friends of the Royal Oak recently outlined its vision to revamp its Grade II Listed namesake.
A community group that wishes to transform a historical high street building in Cheadle is asking for donations to help it in its next phase of potential progress.
Friends of the Royal Oak recently outlined its vision to revamp its Grade II Listed namesake.
The group claim that under their management, the Royal Oak would become a community-managed asset, operating as a multipurpose building.
Speaking in December, vice-chair Mike Plant said: “One of the biggest motivators for the group is ensuring that some of the Royal Oak’s former splendour is brought back.
“Part of our plan involves reinstating the function room on the middle floor. In old newspapers this is referred to as the ‘Assembly Room’ and was used in 1800s to host annual town balls, organised by the local landed gentry.”
The group also outline in their vision that a significant amount of space on the ground floor would be set aside for community activity.
It’s suggested that this would take the form of a display and meeting space, as well as areas set aside for local art and heritage.
In 2021, the group were awarded a match-funded grant by the Architectural Heritage Fund of up to £14,000.
This grant will be used to engage experts and professionals in order to complete a Project Viability Report.
To access this grant money, the group need to raise ten per cent of the grant amount. Some of this money has already been raised via a donation from Cheadle Town Council.
The Project Viability Study is set to enable the group to examine the various options for the building and then unlock larger funding streams, such as the Government’s Community Ownership Fund or the Architectural Heritage Fund’s Transformational Project Grant.
A community share scheme is also part of the group’s plans, to raise the capital for the purchase and renovation of the building.
To help raise more of the money needed, Friends of the Royal Oak have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign.
The group is aiming to generate £950 with £352 already being donated – equivalent to 37 per cent of the required total – via an online fundraising page.
A spokesperson for the group said: “The Royal Oak was once heart of the Cheadle community, but over several years it suffered from a lack of investment and finally closed in 2013.
“A short time later it was sold to developers who intended to turn the building into apartments. While some work was started, the building has remained empty and continues to deteriorate.
“Friends of the Royal Oak is a community group, which was formed in February 2020. The aim of the group is to investigate the purchase of the building, with the intention of transforming the building into a community asset, which would be supported by commercial activity.”
They added: “The building was registered as an Asset of Community Value by Friends of the Royal Oak shortly after forming and this status was confirmed in April 2020.
“During March 2021 the group were awarded an AHF (match funded) grant of up to £14K. This grant will be used to engage experts/professionals, in order to complete a Project Viability Report.
“To access this grant money, Friends of the Royal Oak need to raise 10% of the grant amount. Some of this money has already been raised thanks to a donation from Cheadle Town Council, but there’s still a long way to go.
“If you’d like to see the building come back into use, for the benefit of the community – please consider donating to this campaign.”
Anyone wishing to donate, can find the fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/royaloakcheadle.
Anyone wishing to receive an electronic copy of the vision document can request one by emailing on email@example.com.
Alternatively contact the group via its ‘Friends of the Royal Oak – Cheadle, Staffs’ Facebook page.
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