Village Meeting Summary – 16th January 2024

The Weston SOS committee met with members of the local community on the 16th January to provide an update on our share offer.

Thank-you to everyone that attended and came to speak to the committee at the meeting. It is abundantly clear there is still a strong desire the ‘Save Our Shop’ as an important part of our local community.

The slides we shared during the meeting can be viewed/downloaded below:

The main takeaways from the meeting were:

  • The award of the Community Ownership Grant valued at over £281,000. Pending the completion of some paperwork, we can request the funds as/when needed. COF have also confirmed that there would be no mortgage ‘charge’ on the title of the shop/post office property.
  • The amazing support and generosity from our community with over 90 investors raising a combined total of over £160,000 (share investment and donations).
  • Reiterating the importance of reaching as close to our £250,000 goal, given the high interest costs of the additional loan financing needed if we raise less than £250,000 and providing an updated set of financial forecasts. For perspective, at our current fundraising level, we would paying nearly £23,000 of loan interest in Year 1. That’s interest only, not the capital repayment part! Being in a strong financial position is critical for being able to retain the Post Office.
  • The final extension of our Share Offer until the 31st January to provide some time for people attending the meeting a final chance to submit their share applications (given the original deadline of the 17th January). We cannot extend the share offer any further than this – so this is the final chance to show your support and have your say by becoming a member.
  • The press and media coverage from the Bicester Advertiser, Oxford Mail and ITV Meridian.
  • Whilst we have had some generous support from some businesses in the village, business support has been lower than we had hoped for, especially from those that are based in the village or use the Shop and Post Office regularly.

Finally, we made a plea to our community to help spread the word and for anyone that is able to increase their investment, to please do so.

Once our share offer ends on the 31st January, we will be in touch with the final amounts raised and reaching out to our new ‘members’ on the next steps.