The Congresbury new village hall project – which has received pledges of £115,000 so far – is extending the deadline of its pledge request to the end of September.
The community were asked to make a pledge, which is a non-binding promise to buy community shares, or donate via a ‘buy a brick’ scheme.
Ian Sheppard for the project said, ‘Whilst we are somewhat short of the minimum target we set, there are well over 2,000 other people, organisations and businesses in the village who could pledge. If just half pledged £100 it would raise a further £100,000.
‘The number of pledges is just as important as the amount raised because it shows potential funders the village supports the new building,’ he said.
The community share offer will be open to those aged over 16 and also to people from outside the village.
The project team has also fine-tuned the pledge request. The minimum amount for shares has been reduced to £100 and pledges can be made online.
Mr Sheppard noted that there had been some confusion over the pledges. ‘Money invested in Community shares are not a donation,’ he explained.
‘Effectively they are a long-term loan with 30 per cent income tax relief if retained for at least three years, with the full amount to be repaid, a significant return of over 40 per cent.’
In a further development Mr Sheppard said that the project will receive a significant boost if it reaches the pledge target.
‘A substantial investment has been promised to help the project achieve its £400,000 optimum target. This investment is subject to some conditions, one of which is for the community to raise £250,000 in pledges.
‘Other conditions relate to ensuring the existing clubs use of the playing fields is not adversely impacted by the use of the new building, and having this included in an agreement between ourselves and the trustees managing the playing fields. The Development committee have confirmed their agreement to that.’
‘It is in the community‘s hands to make this happen.’