What is it all about?
• A community purchase of the freehold of The North Star, Westborough Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4AP.
• To secure and safeguard the future of this key community asset.
Who is organizing this?
• A group of local volunteers who feel passionate about re-developing the Pub for the benefit of the community. The Management Committee currently consists of Brian Blackmun, Bob Ginger, Alan Glover and Steph James.
• The Community who are opposed to the closure of the pub and the site being redeveloped.
How would it be done?
• By forming a Community Benefit Society known as The North Star Society Ltd.
• By funding from grants, loans, donations and a community share offer.
• With help from specialist bodies like Plunkett Foundation and Our Community Enterprise who have assisted or are assisting other communities to do this.
What stage is it at?
• The North Star was registered as an Asset of Community Value last year.
• A Community Intention to Bid notice to purchase The North Star was lodged on 1st March 2018 a week before the 6 week moratorium expired on 6th March 2018.
• The bid was successful and the 6 month moratorium period allowed for the community to submit a bid expires on the 22nd July 2018.
• The freehold of the pub is on the market with offers invited.
• The Plunkett Foundation have awarded us a bursary of £2500 under their ‘More Than A Pub’ Community Pub Business Support Programme.
• We have written a business plan setting out how the Pub can be profitable AND meet the needs of the community.
• Research what grants, loans and finance may be available, both locally and nationally, and apply as required. We have already applied to The Plunkett Foundation for a combined loan and grant of £100,000 from their More Than A Pub scheme.
• Launch a Share Offer.
How Can You Help?
• We have a tight timescale, and are likely to need to raise about £400,000 in order to buy the property, carry out any necessary refurbishment, buy stock and open for trading.
• As part of the grant applications, we need to establish how much the community is willing to invest, and whether there is a genuine willingness in the community to contribute sufficient funds to make the project work.
• We have formed a Community Benefit Society – The North Star Society – in which interested parties can invest by buying shares. The primary objective of the company is to run The North Star for the benefit of the community, and in the longer term, if there is any surplus, to use this for the benefit of the wider community of Boyn Hill Maidenhead.
• The more people who are able to pledge a donation, however small, or buy shares, and the wider the section of the community that is involved in our project, the greater the likelihood of success.
• We are about to launch a formal share offer.
How will the Share Issue work?
• The shares of the Society are £50 each. The Management Committee has decided that the minimum investment required at this stage is 5 shares (£50 x 5 = £250). Anyone who invests the minimum of £250 will have a vote and therefore a say in the affairs of the business at General Meetings.
It is the intention that there will be a Management Committee of members to oversee the day-to-day running of the business.
• We will welcome bigger share holdings (the legal maximum is £100,000 per individual, but we intend to set our own maximum for individual investments in the region of 10% of the total share capital sought) but the business will operate strictly on a one member, one vote basis, regardless of how many shares you hold.
• We have applied for Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). If successful your investment may qualify for 30% tax relief.
• The Society will not pay dividends to shareholders but you may be able to recoup your initial investment in the future by selling your shares back to the Society.
• To give the business a chance to establish itself we will need to agree an initial period of five years, during which time the buying back of shares will be restricted, but thereafter the expectation is that there may be profits to fund withdrawals within parameters agreed by the members. When the business is in profit, the Society aims to pay interest on the shares at a rate to be recommended by the management committee and voted on at the AGM.
• This is not just about buying a pub; it is about helping to sustain a community. There is limited financial reward. This is about investing in the future of the community and ensuring that the community hub is run for the good of everyone.
Register an Interest in The North Star Society
No money changes hands at this stage.
It will be treated confidentially. It does not constitute a commitment to invest.
More financial information and a formal share offer will be provided in due course.
Providing that a proper business case is put to you, explaining how the pub will be bought and operated and that you are satisfied with the level of risk involved,
How much would you be prepared to invest buying shares in the Society?