Oakman Inns is looking to raise £2.5m through a crowdfunding campaign to give its newest acquisition in Berkshire a complete makeover.
The pub and restaurant chain is the new owner of the historic Royal Foresters pub site and is now embarking on a total renovation of the site into a restaurant with rooms.
Oakman Inns has committed to invest £3.5m in developing the project, subject to planning permission, and is now calling for people to get behind the venture through platform Downing Crowd.
The site has previously raised £4.47m through crowdfunding for other sites managed by Oakman Inns, including The Akeman in Tring, Hertfordshire, and more recently a Grade II listed pub restaurant renovation in Olney, Hertfordshire.
Oakman Inns manages an estate of 18 trading pub restaurants located across the home counties and Midlands, and in 2017 was voted eighth best company to work for in the UK by the Sunday Times in the mid-size category.
Downing Crowd Bonds are a type of investment-based crowdfunding that allow investors to lend directly to a wide range of UK businesses via bonds that are secured against a company’s assets. This security seeks to reduce investor risk by enabling Downing, as Security Trustee, the right to sell these assets if the Borrower defaults on the Bond.
Investors in this latest £2.5m crowdfunding raise, known as the Royal Foresters Pub Bond, can potentially earn up to 7.5% p.a. interest over a period of up to 18 months. This is a higher interest rate than is typically offered on Crowd Bonds, reflecting the higher risks involved as Royal Foresters is not yet trading.
Peter Borg-Neal, Founder and CEO of Oakman Inns and Director of Oakman Property Limited, commented: “It’s a privilege to be able to breathe new life into the historic Royal Foresters site that was once at the heart of the local community. Crowdfunding investors are helping make this a reality and we are excited to be working again with Downing on this latest project. We’ll also focus on creating local jobs along the way and helping with the community’s wider sustainability efforts, highlighted by our top rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.