AN ANONYMOUS benefactor has offered a £100,000 loan to try to ensure the future of Bosavern Community Farm in St Just.
Those behind the project, an industrial provident society with 135 members, are seeking to buy the site from Cornwall Council for £315,000 – but last Friday found out that their application to a bank for a mortgage had been declined.
With a £215,000 Lottery grant conditional on the society securing the remaining sum, the group's Lynne Dyer said they now had their fingers crossed that the Lottery would stump up the promised cash.
"We found out the mortgage had been refused on Friday," said Mrs Dyer, the farm's local food and community co- ordinator. "We were devastated because of all the hard work that's been put in.
"Then this person came forward with the loan. We were absolutely elated. It's an amazing offer.
"The farm's such a brilliant asset for the community and it does so much good, but we need to get to financial sustainability to move forward.
"We need as much local support as possible, and we've got our fingers crossed for the Lottery funding."
Mrs Dyer said the team would not be able to celebrate fully until the deeds were actually in place, while chairman and director Jill Neville-Davie agreed the loan was fantastic, but stressed negotiations with the Lottery were still only "in the final stages" , with a decision expected next week.
"This is a hugely generous offer," she said. "It shows such positive support for the farm – but we haven't yet had the final go-ahead from the Lottery.
"I've had a positive discussion with them, but they're always very wary; they like to be involved."
Mrs Neville-Davie also said it was vital residents rallied behind Bosavern Community Farm and helped maintain it.
The farm now had a shop and staged a 'community day' on Saturday, she said, and the team hoped as many people as possible paid a visit to take advantage of its local produce and educational resources.
"We're going to depend more on the local support and volunteers," she said. "It's a really exciting venture; if funding comes through then it's full steam ahead."