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. All Members named on a Society’s share certificate (Voting Members) will have the opportunity to elect a Management Committee to manage the property and to attend the Annual Members' Meeting (AMM) where they will be able to vote on significant issues. For joint applications for the Society’s shares, the first named Member will have this vote. The other joint applicants are Non-Voting Members.

Community Benefit Societies are, by law, intended to be democratic organisations and all Voting 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. All Members have a say in future decisions about the Society and the ownership of the pub. Voting Members will elect a management committee and vote 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.

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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 Management Committee manages the Society and reports on its performance to the Members to whom it is accountable.  The Society's Management Committee and its Members do not have any involvement in the day-to-day operation of the pub. The business risk belongs to the tenant.

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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 Annual Members’ Meeting was held on Wednesday 15th November 2017 at Beckley Village Hall. Minutes, reports and presentations from the Meeting can be accessed below.

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the team

Management Committee:  
Mike Baker, Gabriel Brodestsky (Treasurer), Adrian Hampshire (Secretary), Mike Hobbs (Chair), Adam Jeffrey, Susy Jepson, John Stradling, Lise Traynor

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.

MORE THAN A PUB

More Than A Pub is a business support programme that has been established to support community ownership of pubs in England. Managed by the Plunkett Foundation, it is jointly funded by the Department for Communities & Local Government and the Big Lottery and is delivered through Co-operative & Community Finance and Power to Change. The More than a Pub programme enables community pubs to become more than places to eat and drink by supporting amenities and functions which bring communities together. The focus is on providing opportunities for social interaction, thereby fostering community cohesion.

BACBS applied for funding from the More than a Pub programme to provide full accessibility to the pub and a range of amenities and services over and above those usual in a pub. A matched grant and loan totalling £100,000 was offered and will allow the Society to install fully accessible toilets, improved access to the pub and to the garden terrace, and to fund a range of socially inclusive activities.