We are delighted to announce that South Oxfordshire District Council has awarded us (the Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society) a Community Capital Grant of up to £101,000 towards the cost of constructing a fully accessible toilet block and other access improvements at The Abingdon Arms.
This will enable us to proceed with the project, in conjunction with the £50,000 grant from the “More than a Pub” scheme and £50,000 matched-loan from Co-operative and Community Finance.
We hope to start construction in the Autumn.
Alexander Waugh, Evelyn Waugh's grandson unveiled the plaque on the evening of Saturday 28th July.
The ceremony coincided with the same date the author enjoyed a feast in a barn next to the pub in 1924. Evelyn Waugh recalled in his diary: “Until about 3am in the morning the whole village sat and ate and drank and danced and sang.” Click here for more information about Waugh's association with the Abingdon Arms.
In tribute to this memory, diners enjoyed a four-course feast after the unveiling, based on dishes mentioned in his diary.
More details of the evening are available in the Oxford Mail.
BACBS is delighted to announce that it has received an award of £1,000 from the Midcounties Co-operative Community Fund. We will use the money received to support our community programme, specifically the introduction of community lunches.
The Midcounties Co-operative said: “As a co-operative business, we work to make our communities more sustainable, and what stands The Midcounties Co-operative apart from other businesses is that we only do three things with our profits – invest in the business, distribute them to our members and support local communities.”
Eighteen months after being purchased by our Community and, more extraordinarily, less than one year after our tenants – Aimée and Joe – opened for business, The Abingdon Arms has been crowned Best Community Pub in the UK 2018. The pub appears in the 2018 Sawday’s pub guide and has been chosen from the almost 800 pubs featured for the special award - one of only six national awards handed out by Sawday’s.
Mike Hobbs, Chairman of the Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society – owners of the community pub – said: “We've just received this fantastic news. What a brilliant achievement in less than one year of operation!”
Congratulations go to all the members of our community and our investors who made this possible and to Aimée, Joe, Tom and their team at the pub for their hard work and dedication. Well done!
BACBS was short-listed for the Plunkett Foundation's Rural Community Cooperatives Award 2017 in recognition of the sterling contributions made by our shareholders and community volunteers towards purchasing The Abingdon Arms, repairing and refurbishing both the pub building and garden, and developing an exciting 'More than a Pub' programme. Although we did not win the award, our achievements were celebrated at the awards ceremony on 6th December. The shortlisting was a tribute to the vision, cooperation, community involvement and commitment evidenced by our venture.
Exciting news! We've just heard that we've been shortlisted for the Community Co-operative of the year for South East England. We will find out whether we've won at the award ceremony on the 6th December. Watch this space!
The Abingdon Arms is now open for coffee, tea and cake on Friday mornings from 9am. Everyone welcome!