We need to act fast

The School Building is now up for sale

The Rodmell and Ouse Valley Collective have been organising for some time to retain the former school building for community use so that current future generations of residents of Rodmell and the surrounding villages, can continue to benefit from the opportunities offered by this beautiful community space.  Earlier this year, we registered the building as an asset of community value but that registration is about to expire after which the property can be sold on the open market.  It is now listed for sale through sealed bids with Clifford Dan Estate Agents.

We have a short window of time now to make an expression of interest for the purchase of the building.  If we miss this window, the school will be sold for private development and lost to us as a community forever.

What could the old Rodmell School become?

The building can be a new kind of community hub

We have a powerful vision for how the building could be used, a business plan which outlines how the figures stack up, and we have a number of local partners and allies who are supporting us.  Our most important partners though, are you– the members of the communities who will be served by the new building and what it will offer.  If we are to save the school, we need your help now.

Our vision for the new building is that it should offer a range of community focussed enterprises to include a village shop selling local produce, a café, a number of artists studios, space for homeworkers to rent desk space, and a space for hire or other events.  We have a strong basis for believing that these ventures will raise enough money to run the building and make a profit.  Any profits raised will be ploughed back into the community .

These plans have been shared in open days and other communications and have met with a high degree of support from local people.  Of course there are obstacles to be overcome, but we are sure that if we work together, we can develop the space into a sustainable community hub which will make a great contribution to the life of the village and to those that surround it for generations to come.

Buying the old school buildings

The money can be raised through community investment

Our plan is to raise the initial purchase price of the property plus an additional sum for the re-fit of the building.  We can do this by attracting community share-holders from residents of Rodmell and beyond.  We have expert advice on how this financial model could work to ensure a relatively low risk investment for local people wishing to buy a share in the venture which in time could offer interest at a rate of around 3%.

Our current assumption is that we are trying to raise 350k to cover the purchase of the building (assuming a valuation of 225k) which includes an additional sum for refit of the building.

The good news is that not all of this money needs to come from community investors as we have access to a match-funding platform via an organisation called Power To Change.  This means that if 150 households each make an investment of £750, for example, we will have raised 225k. Of course these are only working assumptions at this stage but what they illustrate is that we can raise the money to save the school.

  1. Buy back the Rodmell School building for the community

    We need pledges of investment in community shares in this project. Click the button below to make a pledge.
    £31,000.00 donated of £350,000.00 goal

How you can help

We only have a small core team at present and there is a lot to do.  We need all hands on deck.  Any time or expertise you can offer will be very welcome. In particular we would really like people with any expertise in:

  • Business and finance
  • Architecture and building design
  • PR
  • Setting up and managing a shop or cafe
  • Co-working facilities

This is an exciting time and we need to move fast.  Thank you for whatever support you can offer.

Please contact us littlejohnhickey@icloud.com if you are able to help.

Contact

Come and talk to any of the core team, Georgina Littlejohn, Sarah Gamble, Kate Wickham, Sarah Jay, Sara Buzuk or Kate or Andy Martin. 

or email littlejohnhickey@icloud.com