A community group looking into purchasing the vacant Royal Oak on Cheadle High Street has unveiled their adopted vision for the building. Friends of the Royal Oak has outlined their ideas on how to fund the purchase of the former public house.
A community group looking into purchasing the vacant Royal Oak on Cheadle High Street has unveiled their adopted vision for the building.
Friends of the Royal Oak has outlined their ideas on how to fund the purchase of the former public house.
The group claim that under their management, the Royal Oak would become a community-managed asset, operating as a multipurpose building.
Planned commercial elements include guest accommodation, hireable space for meetings or family functions and a bar among others.
Vice-chair of the group, Mike Plant said: “As a group we’re very community minded, but we’re aware that the building needs to be financially sustainable.
“Our business plan, while still needing some detail takes this into account, while still allowing for community activity in the building.”
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 is suggested that this would take the form of a display and meeting space, as well as areas set aside for local art and heritage.
On the subject of the building’s heritage, Mike added: “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.”
Earlier this year 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 needed to raise ten per cent of the grant amount.
Some of this money has already been raised via a donation from Cheadle Town Council.
To help raise more of the money, Friends of the Royal Oak have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign.
The Project Viability Study will 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.
The scheme will be developed alongside training for the group, which is taking place as part of the Project Viability Study completion.
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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