Race against time to save Windmill

August 11 2020
Race against time to save Windmill

Residents give financial backing to save the Windmill pub but crucial deadline is looming

by Marcus Stone
 
The campaign to save the Windmill pub is reaching a vital stage and supporters and residents are pushing to create as much interest in their crowdfunding offer as possible. 
The campaign closes on Wednesday, August 19, so there is a real sense of urgency. 
Despite the difficulties created by Covid-19 restrictions meaning no supporter meetings, the‘save the Windmill’ campaign has already raised nearly a third of the target minimum of £300,000, with an aim to push for a total of £550,000 to allow for both the purchase and improvement.
The Windmill, on Windmill Hill, closed back in March this year and the owners submitted a planning application to turn the pub into five flats.  Although the application was refused, it has now been re-submitted, meaning it is more important than ever for the crowdfunding to succeed in order that the Windmill stays as a pub, backers say.
Diane James, member of the save the Windmill steering group, explains:“In these uncertain times people are realising the importance of community assets, such as the Windmill pub.  We’re now asking everyone, both local residents and even those further afield to help fund our campaign, with all those funding receiving shares in the proposed new venture.” 
Shares start at £50 for under 25-year olds, and £100 for over 25-year olds, with the maximum investment being £25,000.
The campaign has created a huge groundswell of support with around 200 investors so far raising around £90,000 as we went to press. The plan is to purchase The Windmill and to run it as a community-owned pub. If successful, The Windmill will become a Community Benefit Society and by buying shares, people can become members, and therefore a co-owner of The Windmill. Through this scheme, the community will be involved in the decision-making, and the pub will become a place that adapts to the community.
Many investors and supporters have left comments on the Crowdfunding page: 
Hannah Pawson:“We're about to move to the area and were so sad to hear about the Windmill! We were looking forward to getting to know neighbours and friends there and hope this will be possible.”
“The Hill needs a decent pub so let’s hope people who live on it help save it,” said Martyn Baker.
Roddy Jenkins commented:” Too many pubs are closing and being converted into non-public uses. 
"Let’s reverse this trend by saving The Windmill as a much loved and used local.”
A number of local people have objected to the plans for flats on the city council planning website, saying the Windmill should remains as a community asset.
To learn more: 
l www.crowdfunder.co.uk/windmillcommunitypub 
l savethewindy@gmail.com
l www.savethewindmill.org