The deadline for buying shares in a pub hoping to become a community enterprise has been extended for three weeks.
Organisers of a campaign to buy and reopen the King’s Arms in Shouldham invited potential investors to apply for £50 shares in the venture to help raise £150,000.
The initial appeal closed on Monday after six weeks. About £130,000 was raised, including £20,000 in the last few days, encouraging campaigners to extend the deadline to midnight on Monday, October 21.
A spokesman for Save Our King’s Arms (SOKA), Phil Harriss, said: “We feel confident that, given a little longer, we can achieve our target. We’ve already had shares being bought by people from across the country - and overseas.”
He explained that taxpayers interested in buying shares would benefit from the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, which encourages community ownership. “This effectively means that the Government will give them half their money back by reducing their tax bill,” he said.
SOKA had also heard that its matched funding application to Social Investment Business had progressed to the second stage of assessment. Out of 150 applications for grants, only 24 had reached the second stage.
The village is now preparing for a visit from the SIB in the next few weeks. “They will scrutinise our business plan and all aspects of our project and organisation before deciding whether to award the grant,” he said.
Looking ahead, Mr Harriss said: “If we reach our goal of £150,000 and are awarded the SIB grant, we’ll have £300,000. That’s enough to buy the pub and carry out essential refurbishment.”
For information about how to invest, please go to www.kingsarmsshouldham.co.uk.