BREWERS ARMS - COMMUNITY PUB BUYOUT 2021
Minutes of meeting
Anstruther Hall, Regents Theological College, West Malvern
7.30pm, Thursday 9th June 2022
Board members: Brian O’Connell [BOC], Andy Wood [AW], Rob Rankin [RR], Martin Russell [MR], Mark Haslam [MH].
Invitee: Nic Comley [NC]
Apologies: Dan Herbert.
Audience in the hall: c. 80.
Via Zoom meetings: c. 30 connections.
[BOC] thanked all of those in the audience for attending, including those on Zoom. Thanks also to: Iapetus for creating and distributing the flyers for the meeting; Jan and Simon for funds from the pop-up pub event (another planned 25th June). Special thanks to our local MP, Harriet Baldwin, who has been instrumental in removing blockages with our application for a bank account with Lloyds. (Although see more later!)
[BOC] introduced the current board members to those present (see attendance list above). Mark Gent has resigned his position since the last public meeting (10th Feb).
The board is the management committee with its prime role being to create a community benefit society (CBS) and then, via this CBS, complete all the necessary processes such that the Brewers Arms can enter into community ownership.
The board members stay in post until the first AGM of the CBS unless a member resigns or is removed by special meeting.
The board is in a position of trust. At the moment it is with those who have expressed an interest in becoming investors. Once the share offer is complete, monies have been received and the purchase of the pub is complete, this trust shifts to be with real investors.
At all times it is the duty of the board to act in the best interests of everyone. The board has accountability to explain any decisions and recommendations that it makes.
The converse is that (prospective) investors need to have trust in the board.
Progress so far
A CBS has been created. The Brewers (West Malvern) Community Pub Ltd. Registered with the FCA, number 8840. Registration date 7th April 2022.
Survey (of the physical building)
Completed by Coleman Jones.
Valuation (of the business)
Completed by Morgan and Clarke (with sight of the building survey).
Appointed – Devereux and Hunt (Tewkesbury).
Admiral Taverns have accepted our offer of £295k (£30k less than the original asking price of £325k). This figure may be subject to VAT. On-going discussions are taking place with Admiral Taverns. At the moment it seems that ‘vacant possession’ will attract VAT (hence a cost of about £60k given a purchase price of £295k). However, if there is an incumbent tenant, like Jessie who is currently running the pub, the purchase would be of a ‘going concern’, which does not attract VAT. Jessie is employed by a third party not Admiral Taverns
Further opportunities for savings on VAT may be achievable by splitting off the pub from the accommodation. All part of the on-going discussions.
(Registration with HMRC for VAT is already being handled by the appointed accountants.)
We have one! With Lloyds Business Banking. Unfortunately it’s not yet capable of accepting payments. Various issues always seem to crop up. Obviously, the board is working to resolve the problem but it is taking time. In addition Harriet Baldwin MP and her personal assistant are trying to pull some strings in the background.
Acceptance time conditions
Admiral Taverns acceptance of our bid (£295k) comes with three key conditions:
· We need to have our bank account operating and to “realise our current pledges” by 22nd June 2022. (In simpler terms, we need to have at least £295k in the bank account by 22nd June).
· We must begin the sale contract negotiations and exchange contracts with a 10% deposit (£29500) lodged no later than 20th July.
· Two to four weeks after that to have completed the sale.