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What's going well?

We’ve been totally blown away by the support this project has received; most importantly from the 870+ of you all who have invested and want to be part of making this happen. In addition to the money and enthusiasm and support, we’ve been bowled over by the people who’ve come forward wanting to give us their time and talent to help and we’re still working through all the incredibly kind (and, frankly, humbling) offers.

We’ve received so many wonderful warm messages. We’ve had some superb support from Lewisham Council and the GLA, as well as from Cooperatives UK (and through them funders including Power to Change and The Architectural Heritage Fund), and Social Investment Business’s Reach Fund, which has all played a part in getting us to this stage.
We’re convinced - more than ever - that we can make this happen, and that there’s a really amazing appetite for our plans.

The challenges we're facing...

That said, we’ve been frustrated by the failure to really get through to the Ravensbourne Arms owners. A few weeks ago, we became aware they had accepted an offer for the leasehold of the ground floor. Although we’d been working towards acquiring the freehold, we felt we had to match the competing buyers, and so lowered our sights and prepared to make a counter offer. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the owners haven’t given us the vital information we need about the terms of the leasehold, which is crucial if we are to make a formal offer. The offer from the competing buyers still hasn’t gone through, so it’s not over until the ink is dry on the papers.

Without the required information from the owners, we can’t make any progress on a leasehold offer, but we can continue to work towards an offer on the freehold. Having had time to consider both options, we still believe that a freehold purchase is the most appropriate for the aims of the project as it gives us the long term security that is so vital for our venue to be successful.
We’re still hoping that the owners engage with us if we can put enough money on the table as part of a freehold offer, but if they don’t, or if a rival offer on the ground floor is accepted, we have to think about a Plan B. We can’t say much more about what this would be at this stage, as it’s still being explored but there are other really interesting and exciting sites in Lewisham that we have been made aware of that could operate as our community-owned music venue.

1) Any new site that we consider will be in Lewisham Borough, and ideally as close to the Ravensbourne Arms as possible.2) We will revise the business plan and clearly identify any changes that affect your investment in fundamental ways, such as:- the location of the venue we want to purchase- the return we aspire to offer you- the timescale before we can start to allow money to be returned to you3) We won’t spend any of the money without giving you a chance to review any new proposals. If you don’t want to continue with your investment after any changes to the proposals, we’ll return your money, less any fees incurred (please read on for an explainer on this).

 

If after 12 months we’ve been unable to move things forward, or it becomes clear at any point before then that we just can’t make the numbers stack up between grants, borrowing and your investments, then we’ll return the money to everyone. However, as we will have drawn down the money, we will incur Crowdfunder’s charges of 7.7% plus whatever other one-off admin charges or bank fees we might have incurred. This means that by continuing with your investment, there is a chance that the project might be unsuccessful and you would only get back 92.3% of the money you put in.

 

The same applies if you decide to withdraw your investment on the basis of new proposals being put forward.If you’re happy to continue to invest on these terms, then sit tight, and we’ll be closing the offer and drawing down the money you’ve invested in a week or so. If you’re not happy, though, you’ve got until midnight on February 28th to remove your investment by logging into your Crowdfunder account and cancelling your investment pledge.Anyone who hasn’t cancelled by then will be treated as having consented to these conditions and will become a member of the society soon afterwards.

 

Once that happens, we’ll also be able to access your details as provided to Crowdfunder, so will be in a position to directly email you with further updates and information.We’ll continue to be completely transparent about any changes or developments with the project. We’re here to answer any questions you might have, and if you’d like to chat more before making a decision about your investment, please get in touch with us at info@sistermidnight.orgWe want to say a massive thank you to all of you for supporting us this far. We know how important it is for our community to have a space for creative culture that can’t be taken away from us by greedy landlords or property developers. We’re more confident than ever that we can make this happen. We’ve shown what our community can achieve when we work together, so let's keep going and make Lewisham’s first community owned music venue a reality.

LOVE SISTER MIDNIGHT

An important update on the future of the campaign for our supporters

What we guarantee is:

We have closed the share issue and drawn down your investment but put it into a separate account from the one we use to do day-to-day expenses. We’ll continue to work towards Plan A, securing the Ravensbourne Arms, but we’ll also explore other potential venues to make sure that we stand the best possible chance of making Lewisham’s first community owned music venue a reality.

Stick or Twist?!