The community-funded transformation of a former Crickhowell High Street pub into shops and flats got a major boost this week when the builder carrying out the conversion works invested £10,000 of his own money into the project.
Celtic Property and Lettings Ltd have been working on The Corn Exchange since March and Managing Director, Tudor Vers, said: “We have been so impressed with the enthusiasm of everyone involved and the welcome we have received from Crickhowell that I have become convinced that this project is going to be a success and I want to be part of it.”
Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd – the company set up to buy and convert the building for 241 mostly local shareholders – welcomed the investment. Managing Director, Dean Christy, said,“This is a real vote of confidence from Tudor – who has given so much already in terms of his time and expertise.
“To have our builder put in his own money shows that, like us, he believes we can deliver a building of which Crickhowell can be truly proud.”
Having purchased the building last October, Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd (CECLtd) stripped it out and revealed significant structural challenges – which Celtic Property have subsequently dealt with.
But the extra costs involved meant CECLtd needed more funds, so they issued more shares in March – many, but not all of which have been taken up. Tudor Vers’ cheque joins a number of other investments and pledges this week which mean CECLtd now has more than 85 per cent of the funds it needs to finish converting the building – which has a target completion date of the end of October.
And Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd say they have had so much new interest from small businesses wanting to rent space in the shops following a recent publicity campaign that they will be organising an open day within the next few weeks to allow people to look around.
Finance Director, Peter Roberts, said,“Shareholders and potential tenants are seeing the tremendous progress we are making at The Corn Exchange and are coming forward to buy shares and enquire about renting. This enthusiasm will only increase once they can see the finished building taking shape.”
Celtic Properties have been stripping off the old roof this week and as soon as that is done and a new roof put on, new concrete floors and ceilings are installed on the left hand side of the building, the new shop units will be available for a weekend viewing.
Tudor Vers said “We know how interested the town is in this project – people are constantly looking in at the windows and asking how we are getting on. It’s that sort of enthusiasm which made me want to be part what is an amazing community initiative”