Our achievements so far

Since its inception the Society has: 

  • Joined the Plunkett Foundation, who have assisted other communities with finance and professional advice to secure and manage community pubs.  They have given support to us, including:  
    • Meetings with and advice from specialist Plunkett Advisors Phil Harriss and Alan Collard 
    • A study visit to the Kings Arms (Shouldham)  
    • A ‘More Than A Pub’ bursary award 
  • Liaised with Suffolk Coastal District Council Conservation and Planning Officers to ensure that our proposals are acceptable. To date, we have their full support.
  • Joined Community Action Suffolk and the Heritage Trust Network.
  • Applied for and secured grants totalling £11,050 from the Architectural Heritage Fund, More Than A Pub, Plunkett Foundation, Suffolk County Council, and Suffolk Coastal District Council to carry out a feasibility study for the Project (for further details see section on funding 
  • Identified (through our Grants team) and made initial approaches to appropriate potential grant funders to meet project development and delivery costs . 
  • Undertaken a community consultation by means of a questionnaire to which we received 572 individual responses, approximately one third of the adult population of Wickham Market.
  • Drawn up a preliminary building specification based on the consultation to deliver the facilities most requested by the community.
  • Held a ‘pop-up pub’ information event during which a progress report and feedback from the questionnaire was presented followed by a vigorous Q&A session. From this we have established a 'Friends of The George Group' for improved direct communication with the community. Contact us if you would like to be added.
  • Commissioned architects Nicholas Jacob Architects to draw up conceptual designs and prepare costing estimates for the reconstruction of The George, and quantity surveyors Daniel Connal Partnership to prepare costing estimates for the reconstruction of The George.
  • Commissioned Community Action Suffolk to prepare a Social Impact Assessment for the Project.
  • Commissioned specialist Chartered Surveyors Christie & Co to prepare ‘before and after’ RICS-certified valuations and assess the commercial viability of a re-opened George.
  • Started preparing for a community share issue to part-finance the project should the feasibility study establish the viability of the scheme.
  • Made plans for a series of varied ‘fun’ events to further engage with the whole community. 
  • Entered into negotiations with the current owners of the George, who have indicated that they are willing to sell the pub to the Society.
  • Supported Wickham Market Parish Council’s nomination of the George as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). It was listed, as such by SCDC in January 2017, strengthening the continuance of the George as a public house and giving the community the right to buy should the present owner put the pub on the market. 
  • Carried out a full feasibility study which will be presented to the community