Saving The Black Horse, Dry Drayton
Register an Interest in “Dry Drayton Community Enterprises Ltd.” Community Benefit Society set up to buy the Black Horse Pub, Dry Drayton, for the community. Please complete the short form below.
NO MONEY CHANGES HANDS AT THIS STAGE. YOUR PLEDGE WILL BE TREATED CONFIDENTIALLY.
This pledge does not constitute a commitment to invest but we need to have realistic offers to gauge the likelihood of success. More financial information and a formal share offer will be provided in due course.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to speak to any member of the Black Horse Steering Group personally, email us at
or telephone James Adams (07789 554 691), Ash Bavalia (07958 698 524) or Robb Lunn (07973 670 285)
Follow us on Twitter: @SaveBlackHorse
Please note if you are pledging from outside the UK, then please ensure you give us your full postal address. For example, if you live in Texas USA you would supply in the Address field "<No> <street address>, <City>, TX, USA" with your Zip code being supplied in the Post Code field. You can also add apartment number, etc. to the Address field as necessary.
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 Community Benefit Society? THE MORE GENEROUS THE PLEDGE THE MORE LIKELY WE ARE TO ACHIEVE OUR TARGET (if you tick 'Other' please specify how much £50 minimum, £100,000 maximum).
It is very important that we are able to contact you regarding future developments and in order to make a formal share offering. Please note that your details will be held on a computer database and will only be used in order to contact you regarding the Black Horse.
Please read the following information for investors then scroll to the bottom of the page and please click the [Submit] button.
By clicking the [Submit] button at the end, will help the Black Horse Steering Group to gauge the level of financial support there is within Dry Drayton and the surrounding community.
NOTES ABOUT SAVING THE BLACK HORSE, DRY DRAYTON
We want the Black Horse to be owned by the community and run for the community.
This form, investor notes and FAQs are available as a pdf at
What is it all about?
A community purchase of the freehold of the Black Horse, Dry Drayton.
To secure and safeguard the future of a key village amenity.
It’s more than just a Pub. This historic and important building is a community hub and a key feature of Dry Drayton village. IT MUST NOT BE LOST
Who is organising this?
A group of local volunteers who feel passionate about re-opening the pub for the benefit of the community.
The Steering Group currently consists of: James Adams, Ash Bavalia, Adrian Bennetton, Judith Bennetton, Liz Challis, Edward Fleming, Robbie Hawkes, Andrew Henderson, Rob Lunn.
How would it be done?
By establishing “Dry Drayton Community Enterprises Ltd” a Community Benefit Society (CBS) owned by the community, enabling the community to buy the pub.
By the CBS obtaining funding from grants, loans, donations and a community share offer.
With assistance from specialist bodies like Plunkett Foundation and Pub is the Hub who have assisted other communities to do this.
What stage is it at?
The Black Horse has been registered as an Asset of Community Value.
We are in a moratorium period of 6 months that expires on the 6th September. The community has to submit a bid within this period.
The steering group has been attending local events, surveying the community (~200 survey responses, strong support for the project) and engaging with the professionals (Humberstones, The Plunkett Foundation, Pub is the Hub as well as CAMRA and others).
A draft business plan has been created and the pub has been professionally valued by Humberstones. The Plunkett Foundation are giving us professional support and advice and a grant of £2000. The Dry Drayton Parish Council have granted us £500 seed funding.
Incorporate Dry Drayton Community Enterprises Ltd.
Finalise the business plan to set out how the Pub can be profitable AND meet the needs of the community.
Continue to research what grants, loans and finance may be available, both locally and nationally and make applications.
Launch the Share Offer.
How Can You Help?
We have a tight timescale, and by our current estimates need to raise at minimum £250,000 from the community. The remainder of funds are expected to come from available grants, loans and donations. The money will be spent in order to buy the freehold of the Black Horse, cover acquisition costs, perform necessary refurbishments and open for trading.
We need to establish how much the community is willing to invest, and whether there is a genuine willingness in the village to contribute sufficient funds to make the project work. This information is also very important for grant applications.
We are forming a Community Benefit Society (CBS), "Dry Drayton Community Enterprises Ltd.", a non-profit business entity regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in which villagers and other local people can invest by buying shares. The primary objective of the CBS is to own the Black Horse and either lease it out or install a manager to run it, for
the benefit of the community.
The more people who are able to pledge a commitment to buying shares, and the wider the section of the community that is involved in our project, the greater the likelihood of success.
We are not yet at the stage where we can launch a formal share offer so at present we are asking for Pledge Forms to be completed to help us demonstrate the level of support.
Subject to finalisation of the business plan how would the Share Issue work?
The value of one share will be £50.
We wish to be as inclusive as possible so the minimum number of shares per investor is 1 (one) with the maximum per investor, by law, being 2000 (£100,000).
We will need the average investor to buy significantly more than one share if we are to achieve our goal. For example the Hare & Hounds in Harlton has just been bought by the community with £335,000 raised from a community share issue to 160 investors with an average investment of just over £2000 each.
Each investor will have a single vote no matter their level of investment (this is to stop large shareholders wielding majority power over the CBS).
The value of the Shares will be redeemable in full if the CBS is liquidated and sufficient funds are available. If there is a surplus at liquidation the CBS requires that it is given to a local charity.
At the first members' AGM the original steering committee will stand down and a management committee will be elected from the members (shareholders) to run the CBS. Note that the original steering committee can stand for re-election.
Shares may pay interest (dividends). To give the business a chance to establish itself there will need to be a period of 3 years, during which time there will be no interest paid on shares.
If the business is in profit after 3 years the expectation is that there could be interest paid on shares, within the parameters of the CBS requirements and agreed by the members and voted on at the AGM.
Shareholders must hold their shares for a minimum of 3 years. After this, if the business is a success we plan to allow shareholders to sell their shares back to the CBS (redeem their shares) subject to availability of funds and agreement by members. Shares are redeemable at face value only (i.e. they do not appreciate in value as the assets of the CBS do and will therefore not provide capital gains.)
This is not just about buying a pub, it is about helping to sustain a community.
Financial reward is not the motivation, however we do intent to apply for the shares to be subject to one of the tax-efficient investment schemes offered by the government. Either EIS or SITR tax relief will offer shareholders the ability to reclaim up to 30% of their investment through a reduction in tax liability. We cannot at this point guarantee our shares will be eligible for one of these schemes, but other CBS groups who have saved their pubs have had their shares approved. We have a fantastic opportunity for Dry Drayton to strengthen the vibrancy and sustainability of our community and save a local asset that may be lost forever. This purchase would have many benefits, including:
Upgrading the pub facilities: update decor, better toilets inc. disabled / baby change (where possible), kids play area.
Maintaining a place to meet friends and neighbours and improving the sense of community
Providing a central point for information on community events and local issues
Providing an informal 'drop in' place for community groups to get together
Possibility of providing extra facilities such as a cafe during the day and a small shop for essentials (bread, milk, stamps, etc.)
Creating opportunities for employment
Preserving a key Dry Drayton asset for future generations
Helping to sustain property prices in the village*
*Note it has been estimated that having a nice village pub adds between £5,000 and £10,000 to house prices in a village. If the pub is lost, Dry Drayton will collectively lose between £1.25 - £2.5 million of house price value - far more than the price of the pub!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I become a shareholder?
It is important that as many members of the community as possible participate in the venture and help to raise the funds required to purchase the Black Horse. The greater the level of shareholding the more chance we have in buying the pub freehold, and the more money will be available to make renovations and improvements.
2. Who will benefit from this venture?
The community of Dry Drayton and the surrounding area.
3. Will the society be viable?
Based on the current financial projections for a tenanted model, we believe the rental income will comfortably support the business model we propose and will provide a surplus for contingencies.
4. Who is organizing this? Do they have a personal interest in the pub?
The steering group currently comprises a group of 9 volunteers from the village - James Adams, Ash Bavalia, Adrian Bennetton, Judith Bennetton, Liz Challis, Edward Fleming, Robbie Hawkes, Andrew Henderson, Robb Lunn
They will have the same financial interest in the society as all other investors. The steering group has a range of relevant skills.
5. Are there restrictions to becoming members?
Members must be aged 18 or above. There is no requirement to be a resident of Dry Drayton.
6. Is there a difference between being a member and a shareholder?
There is no difference between being a shareholder and a member. The purchase of the minimum subscription automatically confers membership.
7. What voting rights would I have?
All members have one vote, regardless of how many shares they have bought. This is an underlying concept of the Industrial & Provident Society structure.
8. If I invest do I take on any other liability?
No. Your liability is limited to your investment.
9. Will there be any changes in the way the pub is run?
It is important to remember that the day-to-day pub business and the associated risks remain with the tenant. The society and its management committee will not be running the business. However the society will expect to have regular meetings with the tenant to discuss how the business is going and act as a channel for suggestions from members and customers
10. Are there limits to how much I can invest?
The minimum investment is £50 (one share) and the maximum (by law) is £100,000.
11. Can my investment increase in value?
Shares in the society can never be worth more than their nominal face value. If the business fails, the value could fall. (See 14. Below)
12. Can I sell my shares?
Shares in the society cannot be sold. They are a special sort of share known as ‘community shares’ and the only way you can recover their value is to apply to the society to withdraw any shares.
13. How can I get back my money?
You must hold your shares for a minimum period of three years after which time you can apply for your shares to be withdrawn. The management committee will determine, based on the liquidity of the society at the time, the extent to which shares can be withdrawn.
14. What happens if the society fails?
If the unlikely event that the society fails, all the assets would be sold and the proceeds of the sale would be used to repay any debt (e.g. loans/ mortgage). Thereafter, shareholders would be repaid and any remaining surplus would be put to community use. The assets of the society, if the purchase proceeds, will include the Black Hose pub and its surrounding land.
15. How does the share issue work and what guarantees do I have for my investment?
The company that will be established is an Industrial & Provident Society for the benefit of the community. It operates on the basis of ‘one member, one vote’. This should be viewed as a long term investment for community benefit. It is not the same as investments made in ‘for profit’ enterprises where investors hope to share in success through both dividends and capital appreciation. Whilst the shares in the society will pay interest, the underlying value of the shares cannot increase and could be reduced if liabilities exceed assets. However, as the society is a ‘corporate body’ there can be no further liability for investors. The shares cannot be sold but withdrawal can be requested after a minimum of three years after the date of the share issue.
16. By investing am I not just simply supporting the tenant?
No. Investment in the society will support the society’s business and the stability of the community over the long term. We will be supportive of the tenant but they will be responsible for their business and all the risks associated with it. They will have obligations to the society under the lease and will deposit a bond with the society, as is the norm, as security for their liabilities to the society.
17. As a shareholder will I have a say in the way the pub is run?
The day-to-day business of the pub will continue to be the responsibility of the tenant, not the society. However, the management committee will meet regularly with the tenant to discuss issues including business performance and will make recommendations and suggestions, in part based on comments from members and the customer base. The committee will act as a channel for comments from customers and members. The society will hold regular meetings with members including an Annual General Meeting.
18. I would like to support the society’s efforts but am not sure I can currently provide financial support. Can I help in other ways?
Yes. If we are successful in acquiring the pub, practical help will be needed to carry out planned improvements. This will help us to contain costs. Also we would welcome any assistance with fund raising. Perhaps supporters could arrange quiz evenings, table-top sales, sponsored activities etc.
19. What are the planned improvements you mentioned above?
At this stage the steering group has identified a small number of projects it believes would be possible to implement before re-opening. These include improved toilet facilities, new commercial kitchen, improved outside space as well as new decor and essential repairs of the building.
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