QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING BUYING SHARES IN “THE NORTHUMBERLAND ARMS COMMUNITY SOCIETY LIMITED”
Why should I buy community shares?
We need your investment to help purchase The Northumberland Arms. Without sufficient investment from the community we will be unable to establish the business.
Who will benefit from this project?
The residents and friends of Marple Bridge and Compstall will benefit directly from having a vital amenity preserved for future generations, both through the use of the facility itself but also because The Northumberland Arms will play a part in making Marple Bridge and Compstall a stronger, more vibrant and cohesive community in which to live.
Is this a good business proposition?
We expect and will require the business to be a profitable venture. We have carefully evaluated its strengths and weaknesses and our projections show that we can establish it as a successful business. It is well proven that communities that work together to set up such an enterprise will support it in the future. Of all the Community owned pubs none have failed to date. For the full business case go to the Download The Documents Here page.
I’ve heard that a big investor has already come up with the money, so I don’t need to bother. Is this true?
No. Our maximum investment level is £25,000, so that isn’t even possible. The success of this will stand or fall on whether enough people buy shares to make the dream a reality. The share offer closes on the 17th September 2017, so you still have time to purchase your shares and be a part of this wonderful idea!
Who are the people behind this project? Do they have a personal interest?
The Management Board consists of a group of local residents who care passionately about The Northumberland Arms, the social role of pubs and the future heritage of the area. They donated money to help register the company and will be investing in shares. They will have no personal financial interest in the project, above and beyond their own investment in community shares. They have voluntarily contributed a large amount of time to the project and this has been supplemented with advice and considerable support from many people and organisations.
Who will run The Northumberland Arms and make the day-to-day decisions about the business?
The Management Board will oversee the business and ensure that it meets the goals set down in the vision statement. We intend to appoint an experienced pub manager to oversee the day-to-day running of the pub. There will be governance and reporting arrangements in place to monitor financial and other performance. We will ensure that there is an ‘open book’ approach to sharing feedback and other information between the Society and the manager. Shareholders will be invited to meetings to discuss significant decisions about The Northumberland Arms.
Will the previous tenants be running the pub again?
No. Geoff and Margaret are both Board Members, and have contributed a lot to getting our campaign this far. Their experience of running The Northumberland Arms has been invaluable in formulating our business plan, and they will continue to be involved at Board level but the pub will be run by a new manager. Geoff continues to hold a Designated Premises Supervisor licence which will protect our licensed status should any change of staffing occur.
Will Frederic Robinson Ltd still be involved with the business?
No. Our agreement with Robinsons is for the purchase of the Freehold of the premises, free of any tie to them and without any restrictions. We may decide to stock their products if we choose to do so!
Do my shares give me voting rights?
Yes, they do. Everyone has an equal voice, regardless of the size of their investment.
How do I get my money back?
You will be unable to withdraw your shares in the first three years. After that, you will need to give at least three months’ notice. You cannot sell or transfer your shares, and withdrawals must be funded from surpluses or new capital raised from members. The Board may suspend withdrawals depending on the long-term interests of the Society, the need to maintain adequate reserves, and the commitment to the community we serve.
What happens if the purchase of The Northumberland Arms falls through?
It is possible that we will be unable to complete the purchase, even though we have an in-principle agreement with Frederic Robinson PLC and we are confident we can secure the funds. In the unlikely event that this happens we will return any funds we have received.
Will I get my investment back if The Northumberland Arms fails?
All the business’s assets, including the freehold of the building, would be sold and the proceeds of the sale (after paying any creditors) divided between the shareholders up to the value of their shares. You might receive the full value of your shares back or you might lose part or all of your investment.
What redress do I have if the business fails and I lose the value of my shares?
This share offer is unregulated, as it is exempt from the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or subsidiary regulations, which means there is no right of complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, nor can you apply to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Will I receive interest from my shares?
We aim to pay a reasonable interest rate to our members. Our business plan assumes we will pay 4% interest, but this will always be dependent on the success of the business. Interest will be paid gross and it is each member’s responsibility to declare such earnings to HMRC if appropriate.
Will my investment be eligible for tax relief?
We have applied for advance assurance from HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) that the shares in The Northumberland Arms are eligible for tax relief under the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) which are both government-backed schemes designed to encourage investment in smaller enterprises. Community-managed pubs like The Northumberland Arms are eligible for this tax relief.
How can I find out more about the project?
You can find our business plan, the Rules for our Society and further contact details at www.thenorthumberlandarms.com
Here are some useful links if you want some more information:
Our Campaign website www.thenorthumberlandarms.co.uk contains lots of useful documents and links, including the Model Rules governing the Society.
Our Facebook page www.facebook.com/thumbcommunitypub/
Invaluable support has been provided by The Plunkett Foundation: www.plunkett.co.uk
The Plunkett document ‘A Better Form of Business’ explains the principles of community ownership: http://www.plunkett.co.uk/better-business-reports
Community Benefit Societies are regulated by the FCA
Details of the Co-operative and Communities Benefit Act 2014 can be found at www.fca.org.uk
Guidance from the HMRC about SITR Tax Relief can be accessed at:
CAMRA is working to protect pubs from closure and the local Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead Branch has supported our campaign throughout: www.swm.camra.org.uk
We received support and guidance from Cooperative and Mutual Solutions Ltd. http://cms.coop/
Pub is the Hub helps pubs to diversify: www.pubisthehub.org.uk
For information about community shares go to www.communityshares.org