Friday, May 25, 2012
The recent Rolle Centre share offer has raised £115,255, making it one of the most successful fundraisers in Exmouth’s history.
The money from the first share offer, which closed last week, will be used to re-commission the 4.1-acre site’s three buildings to transform the former teacher training college into a training, business, arts and community hub.
A total 23,051 shares were brought by 742 shareholders, who will now attend a meeting within the next six weeks to discuss the next move.
The project is thanks to Rolle Exmouth Ltd (REL), a not-for-profit company set up by local residents.
However, there is still some way to go to raise the £350,000 needed, and the purchase of shares had started slowly; the offer began on March 12 for six weeks, but by the first week of April, just £30,000 had been raised.
REL chairman Roy Pryke said: “We realised that, despite weekly publicity and advertising, awareness of the offer was spreading slowly. So the closing date was extended… and it produced a remarkable response.
“We believe this is already the most successful public fundraising effort in local history.
“We are well on target to secure the finance needed to re-open the buildings.
“This will have to be on a phased basis.
“As we have made clear all along, the success of this first share issue is vital to put us in a position to access other sources of funding.
“We have applied to the Coastal and Communities Fund and are exploring other possible sources.”
He said that the 700 people who attended the two open days showed the extent of the ‘goodwill’ of local residents.
“We are sure that there is still more goodwill locally, but we know that in future share offers, we shall need to reach more people elsewhere who are likely to offer their support,” he said.
He said their aim was to generate jobs, provide local training, cultural, community and workspace facilities and to give the local economy a boost.
But he added that they had only been able to take advantage of just a handful of more than a hundred offers of help.
“This is mainly because we are not yet in a position to work in Rolle.
“We naturally want and need to make best use of the precious time which has been volunteered.
“All those who have volunteered will be invited to a meeting in June or early July for a discussion about the next steps.”
Share certificates will be sent to all shareholders by the end of May.
The first scheduled shareholders meeting will be in May/June 2013.