the Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society Ltd owns the abindgon arms

The Society is a not-for-profit organisation set up to own and and operate The Abingdon Arms, Beckley. The Society is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Anyone who has invested in our share offer is a Member of the Society 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. Our registered number is: 7404 

A COMMUNITY PUB

A community pub is one that is truly owned by the community. The members of the community have bought shares in a community organisation, The Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society Limited (“BACBS”) which, has in turn, purchased the pub on behalf of the community, and appointed tenants to run the pub.. Those who have bought shares in the Society are Members, investors in the buildings and land which form the pub, have a say in future decisions about the Society 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.

SHARE OFFERS

The BACBS first share offer launched in October 2017 raised £505,000 from 280 members to buy the Abingdon Arms for the community.

Governance

The Society 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 business risk will belong to the tenant.

pROFIT

The Society's revenue will come from leasing the pub to an appointed tenant. 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 2% 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 time-to-time from shareholders who wish to withdraw them
  • Other community investments to be agreed by the Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society Ltd and its Members

RULES OF THE SOCIETY

For more details on the Society and its rules you can download these from the link below:

BUSINESS PLAN

We prepared a detailed business plan for the purchase and ownership of The Abingdon Arms. For full details, click link below:

MEMBERS MEETING

The first AGM will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th November at Beckley Village Hall. Information about the meeting will be sent to Members in advance.

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the team

Management Committee:  
Mike Baker, Gabriel Brodestsky (Treasurer) Mike Hobbs (Chair), Adrian Hampshire (Secretary), Susy Jepson, Nin Kelay, Georgina Matthews, Phil Partington, Tom Smith, John Stradling

Founder Members:
Gabriel Brodetsky,  Mike Hobbs, Georgina Matthews and Tom Smith.

Our supporters

We'd like to thank everyone in our local community who has offered support, and particularly those who have offered advice and helped in practical ways. We could not have achieved the purchase of The Abingdon Arms without you. Also many thanks to the army of volunteers who cleaned the pub, cleared the garden, and did the DIY to get the pub shipshape and ready to open for business. 

We have valued too the information, generous support and active encouragement of colleagues at a number of established community pubs, particularly The Bull (Great Milton), The Drovers Inn (Gussage All Saints, Dorset), The Plough (Great Haseley), The Red Lion (Northmoor) and The Seven Stars (Marsh Baldon). Visit them if you can! We would like also to thank those from outside of our community who have provided professional advice, tangible support and friendly encouragement, including: Ed Murray, The Shotover Brewing Company; Abi Rose, The Black Boy, Old Headington;  Hamish Stoddart, Peach Pubs. We would particularly like to thank the Plunkett Foundation that have helped us every step of the way. The support received convinces us of the powerful benefits of community engagement.