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Fancy crowdfunding this?

Shhh…Come closer… Can you keep a secret? Oh goodie. Mr Muddy’s birthday is coming up and *whispers it* I’ve just got him a fab and rather original pressie. It’s one I’ve got a feeling you will want to get your hands on too.

I’ve just bought him a Crowdfunding stake in Kingdom, a new leisure, community and dining space set deep in the woodland of Penshurst. This means Mr Muddy K is now a *insert drum roll* founding member (which sounds very earnest and important, right?). The reward is a whopping 25% off food in the café, for 12 months. Seeing as the café will be run by Basil, those Kent-based makers of mouth-wateringly good, home-prepared food it’s a no brainer (I mean have you seen how much my family can put away?)

Kingdom is crowdfunding £360,000 for an equity share of 10% and a range of rewards. The Kingdom crowdfund will go towards revamping a truly unique 13-acre space on the site of the previous Penshurst Off Road Cycling track (nestled between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells and not too far from Sevenoaks). And having visited the location myself I can vouch for the stunning location – you’ve literally got 360 degree views of the surrounding hills and woodland.

Basically what they’re creating here is the perfect place to escape (with or without the kids) if you’re the sort that likes to be a bit outdoorsy and then reward yourself after all that fresh air up with top quality food in a cool clubhouse.

Ah, this will be me and Mr Muddy gazing at the view and trying to remember where we left the Mudlets

In the last two years equity-based crowdfunding – whereby the many invest a little each in return for a stake in the business or reward scheme – has grown by almost 300 per cent. You might well remember Kent’s recent high profile crowdfunding venture at Chapel Down which enabled them to launch their Curious Drinks beer and cider business.

And, for me, after over a decade of marriage it’s become increasingly tricky to buy original pressies so I’m always on the look out for something a bit different. Mr Muddy’s passions are the great outdoors, fine wine, good food, cycling and his family (possibly in that order). So I think I’ve totally hit the nail on the head with this one.

It’s a pretty sound investment in my opinion as the team behind it, the I’ll Be Mother group, led by Pete Cornwell certainly know their hospitality apples. I mean look at how their other projects – The Twenty-Six, The Beacon and The Swan at Chapel Down – have all turned to gold.

This first phase of crowdfunding will enable Kingdom to create a 1.1-mile cycle circuit, where all abilities will be able to participate in both leisure and competitive cycling. Phase 2 (with future investment) will include mountain biking and down-hill trails. You may well be familiar with Basil, the on-site concession and much-loved café group as they already operate in nearby Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and here at Kingdom they’ll be offering not just their usual standard of tasty, fresh food for visitors but also available to book for parties, weddings and corporate hire.

A striking wood clubhouse is the four-floor natural heart of Kingdom and makes a multi-purpose, flexible space where visitors will eat, meet and relax. Basil café will be found on the ground floor, a large gathering and workshop space on the first floor, and on top of that a full open roof deck for alfresco dining and events. At the basement level, there is also a Wyndymilla cycling retail and workshop space with bike rental.

As well as the space being bookable for parties and events the plan is to get some quality camping and glamping facilities up and running too all within 13 magical acres of woodland. This is where you can switch off from the daily grind and relaaaaax.

The seedrs crowdfunding campaign is offering the following as Founder member rewards: a years’ membership and stake in the business as well as…

£100 – 25% off café, for 12 months

£250 – 25% off bike shop (in addition to above)

£1000 – invite to opening launch party (in addition to above)

£5000 – 50% off clubhouse hire (in additional to above)

£15000 – keys to the Kingdom…private use of all 13 acres at Kingdom for you and your guests for a day as well as all the above benefits.

To find out more click here: www.seedrs.com/kingdom1

Surely this crowdfund will be a massive success – cycling is so über popular at the moment after all. I mean I don’t know about you but I can’t move for men in Lycra on my village lanes (and some of them are cycling). And that’s the other thing of course – Kingdom is providing a family-friendly, safe way to enjoy cycling away from traffic and crazy drivers. And just in case you’re still undecided I’m going to add in a couple of little piccies so you can see the kind of food Basil produces – from sweet to savoury. Feast your eyes on this…

Go get your keys to the Kingdom! www.seedrs.com/kingdom1. For more info visit: thiskingdom.co.uk

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