Owned by our community & run for our community
In response to our recent survey our community provided overwhelming support for a community owned and run pub, café and farm shop at The Greyhound. We are excited to share with you the progress we have made towards turning this opportunity into a reality.
- 340 responses to our survey of the village
- Website and Facebook group launched
- Application to the Plunkett Foundation successful and Plunkett Advisor allocated
- Negotiations well progressed with Ewelme and current tenants of The Greyhound
- Property inspections and landlord survey undertaken
- Initial steering group expanded to include additional experts from the village
What’s happening at the moment?
- Working through the Plunkett Foundation’s Action Plan with our Plunkett Advisor
- Preparing to set up a Community Benefit Society (CBS)
- Gathering detailed financial and operational input and advice
- Negotiating the best lease deal possible for the community
- Submitting our CBS application (a 3-4 week process) and setting up a bank account
- Building an exciting and robust business plan including detailed financial projections
- Planning a Mid-June share launch event, to present the business plan and share prospectus to the community
- Commencing first phase of works and initial opening as soon as possible after money is raised and lease transferred
Some questions answered
- The rules around Community Benefit Societies (CBS) and Community Shares are very important to understand. Please find more information here
- The lease for The Greyhound, and any increased value of the lease or profits made over time, will be used in accordance with the CBS rules, not paid to individuals
- This means that CBS profits will be invested back into the community pub or into community ventures as voted for by the society members/shareholders
- Each shareholder in the CBS will have 1 vote, regardless of share value, and therefore an equal say in all key decisions made
- Future plans for The Greyhound Community Pub and The Plough are now known to absolutely complement each other.
Why choose a Community Benefit Society and how does it work?
The Community Benefit Society is a legal structure designed specifically for businesses such as a community pub, café or shop. All three of which we are looking to create at The Greyhound.
Plunkett has setup 100’s of these and as a result have ‘model rules’ in place designed to ensure the business acts purely for the benefit of the community it serves. Unlike a private company it does not allow individuals to gain more influence over decisions or personally profit more based on how many shares they own or the management position they hold.
Here are some of the key features and benefits of a CBS and what you can expect as a member who has invested in shares:
- Benefits wider community as well as members
- Elected committee manage the enterprise on behalf of members
- One member, one vote
- Member liability limited to share value which cannot increase
- Trade profits reinvested or distribute for social or charitable purposes
- Can qualify for tax relief on investment of up to 50%
It should also be noted that, after an initial period defined in the rules, shares can be withdrawn, and it is possible that interest can be paid to shareholders at an agreed rate. Decisions on either of these are, however, are at the discretion of the management committee and members in order to ensure sufficient capital in the business and benefit to the community.
For more information, please speak to one of the team or:
- If you want more detail on the legal structure of a Community Benefit Society click here