What is a Community Pub?
A ccording to figures from the British Beer and Pub Association 67,800 pubs were operating in 1982, today that figure is down to 50,800. With many pubs being sold off by breweries, the community ownership model is becoming widespread.
Often an important focal point at the heart of village life, in reviving the fortunes of a local pub, members of the local community come together offering their creative talents, business acumen and hands on support to collectively own and help run their community pub, forming a powerful movement for action. Purchasing a pub for the Community represents a fantastic opportunity for Nangreaves and nearby villages to strengthen the vibrancy and sustainability of our community and to help sustain local property prices.
A community pub is one that is truly owned by the community. Members of the community buy shares in a community organisation, ‘The Raglan Community Hub Limited’ (‘TRCHL’), it then aims to purchase the pub on behalf of the community, and appoint a tenant to run it. Those who buy shares in ‘TRCHL’ are members, investors in the buildings and land which form the pub, have a say in future decisions about ‘TRCHL’ and the ownership of the pub by electing a management committee and voting at members’ meetings. The licensed business of the pub is the responsibility of the appointed tenants..
Why purchase as a Community Pub?
“T o secure the long term future of the Lord Raglan, as a flourishing business asset, for the benefit of the community and investors, by vesting ownership in ‘TRCHL’ controlled by the community and by running the business profitably”
In small village communities, a pub is so much more than somewhere to call for some food and drink – it’s the hub of village life. It provides a meeting place to meet friends and neighbours, improving the sense of community. It also provides a hospitality venue for tourists, local groups, and functions such as weddings and funerals.
The proposal is to raise funds in order to purchase, re-furbish and maintain the Lord Raglan, for the benefit of the community. It will lease the pub to a professional and experienced tenant who will be responsible for the operation of the public house and who will work with ‘TRCHL’ to implement the Business Plan to include additional community activities. These ‘additional activities’ will be undertaken at the discretion of The Management Committee and for the benefit of the community.
In maintaining the fabric of the Lord Raglan building we’ll increase accessibility and use. Working with local businesses, we’ll create employment opportunities and inject money into the local economy.
How to achieve a profitable
Community Pub to serve the community
REGISTERING THE PUB AS AN ACV (ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE)
The first step is to register the pub as an asset of community value or ACV. The owner of land listed as an ACV is prohibited from disposing of that land unless certain conditions are met. This includes a moratorium on disposal for up to six months.
The ACV status means we had six months to raise the finance to buy the pub before it goes on the open market?????. A voluntary committee was elected at an AGM and the hard work begins.
The ‘TRCHL’ is a not-for-profit organisation set up to own and operate the Lord Raglan, Nangreaves. The ‘TRCHL’ is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Anyone who has invested in our share offer is a Member and will have the opportunity to elect a Management Committee to manage the property and to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where you will be able to vote on significant issues.
Community Benefit Societies are, by law, intended to be democratic organisations and all Members will have an equal vote, regardless of the size of their shareholding, and will have the protection of limited liability.
The ‘TRCHL’ is incorporated by the FCA so operates in accordance with applicable legislation and good practice for a community enterprise. The legal status of the Society ensures that there is an 'asset lock' so that the benefit of any assets is retained for the community.
The current Management Committee will stay in place until the Society's first AGM when a new Management Committee will be elected by the Members. The Committee will report on the management and performance of the Society. Key decisions will be taken on a one-member, one-vote basis. The Society's Management Committee and its Members will not have any involvement in the day-to-day operation of the pub.
The Society's revenue will come from the day to day operations of the pub and the efforts of the appointed manager. Any profits (i.e. once operating expenses such as mortgage repayments, property maintenance, and professional fees have been paid) will be used for:
- Making modest interest payments to shareholders – up to 3.5% above Bank of England base rate (once the business is running successfully and has sufficient surpluses, hopefully from year 4)
- Improving and developing the pub
- Buying back shares from shareholders who wish to withdraw them
- Other community investments to be agreed by ‘TRCHL’ and its Members
SERVING THE COMMUNITY
The Community Pub could play host to many community activities including:
Knit & natter group
Function room for hire
Organised trips & events
Senior citizens lunches
Arts & crafts gallery/sales
Sing story & rhyme sessions
NOT THE FIRST
In 1988 there was only one co-operative pub registered, by the end of 2016 it was 46. Many of these pubs were failing businesses, yet not a single co-operative pub has closed, an impressive 100% survival rate.