A message from our Chairman
First, a big thank you to all of our shareholders and volunteers who have given so freely of their precious time and invested their hard-earned savings to save our pub for future generations of our community to enjoy. When we step back and think of the scale of our achievement, it’s truly staggering.
There has been a huge buzz of activity over the past few weeks as we get ready to take ownership so here’s a quick update on what’s been happening and what’s coming up.
Diolch yn fawr
Thank you so much for taking time to respond to our in-depth community survey. We’ve had over 85 responses from all groups within our community which is fantastic. It’s great to hear what’s important to you. We want everyone to feel truly welcome and we’re planning to introduce as many of your ideas as space and funding allows.
We’ll hold another community satisfaction survey once the major works have been completed to see if we’ve got the balance right.
We’re always grateful for useful feedback and great ideas. If you have a great idea, just pop it by hand into the Y Cross CBS black post box on the front of the pub or drop us a line via the Contact Us page on our website.
Grant Funding Agreement (GFA)
We’ve recently had a very collaborative meeting with our colleagues from the UK Government Community Ownership Fund (COF). The paperwork is done and we estimate receipt of the full allocation of grant funds in as little as two to three weeks. This amazing super boost of £244,250 is a truly fantastic kick start. Our solicitor is poised and ready to exchange and complete the sale of the pub once we receive the COF grant.
How exciting is this! We really are all set to bring our ambitions into reality.
COF are giving us 50% of our estimated costs because we all pitched in together to do something truly amazing for the community and we raised the other half together.
Diolch – thank you – for your generosity and ongoing support.
Pub & hub refurb
Once we have the keys, our intent is to reopen as soon as possible.
First, we need to do some mandatory repairs and a quick refresh of the décor. Then, in January, when trade is naturally less busy, we’ll keep a limited service running whilst we undertake the major works, aiming for a full relaunch in Spring 2024.
The outline plan is below: –
Phase 1 – Basics and essentials
Likely to take around 3 weeks, these works will be limited to health and safety, fire safety and electrical safety works. During this time, we will be recruiting, training, stocking and testing. Whilst this is all underway, we will refresh some of the décor so it’s warm and welcoming for everyone. We’ll then make a start on shaping the phase 2 refurb programme.
Phase 2 – Major refurbishment works
To get the plans ready, we’ve set up a property working group with knowledgeable volunteers, supported by advice from hospitality and construction industry experts. Once our outline plans for the second phase are ready, we will hold an open meeting and invite you all to come along and comment on your favourite ideas and offer any final suggestions.
Getting ready to open
As well as planning the physical works, we’ve been busy procuring suppliers, and getting the necessary licenses in place. We’ve got a great new range of wines, local beers and ciders to try and we’ll be stocking local craft gin and fantastic coffee and cake.
We are also delighted to announce that we have appointed Shawn Smith as our Pub Manager. Shawn will start shortly to get the pub ready for opening next month.
Shawn lives locally with his family in Fishguard and brings with him extensive general management experience in the hospitality industry. Learning the trade direct from his parents who ran the Harbour Inn in Solva for many years, Shawn understands our unique Pembrokeshire environment and the quality of our great local produce. He is very engaging and welcoming. As a passionate chef, he is as equally comfortable in the kitchen as he is leading front of house creating a great atmosphere and a warm welcome for every customer. He has won many awards and, most importantly for us, he has experience running a community pub. He loves the unique family atmosphere a community operation creates and is looking forward to meeting you all very soon.
What will the food be like?
We’ve already got a sub group working on great menu ideas and we’ll be trialling some recipes to see what people like best.
Initially we will be offering some simple but well curated dishes showcasing the best of our fresh local produce. We intend to advertise these via an ever-changing blackboard. Meals can either be ordered at the bar or via a full table service in the restaurant. We’ll be offering a hot meal option every day and we’ll be hosting some great themed evenings such as fresh fish, and steak nights. We will also endeavour to make some take away food options available as soon as we can. Look out for November’s Newsletter for more details.
As we get ready to move into service, the pub has vacant roles for bar, waiting staff and housekeepers. These are paid part and full-time roles with some being just requiring a few hours a week. Have a look at the website http://ycrossinn.cymru/job-vacancies/ to find out more and see if any of the roles have your name on them and get it touch if they do. We are encouraging local people to apply, including younger and older members of the community. The pay is generous being in line with the Real Living Wage. Training will be provided for all roles, so no experience is necessary, you’ll just have a positive and friendly character.
The Community Benefit Society also has a voluntary role available for a society secretary. This is an important governance role advising the Board and Committee and if you know someone with suitable skills that would be interested please ask them to get in touch with our Chairman, Geraint Evans at email@example.com. The closing date is October 20th 2023.
Geraint Evans, Mike Hillier, Jon Archer, Jessie Fry, Jayne Evans
Y Cross Cas-lai CBS Ltd Directors