Save The Pheasant
The Supporters of Save The Pheasant are local residents who want
The Pheasant, Ballinger Common to become a community-owned pub.
It has been some time now since we all gathered in the Ballinger Village Hall back on 15th December to launch the project with the objective of re-opening the Pheasant Inn as a community pub.
So what has happened since then?
At the meeting we asked for anybody who may have skills or knowledge that would help the project to step forward, and I am pleased to say that we have had a fabulous response already, and have willing help from people with skills in many important and specialist aspects of the project including former publicans, business owners, building specialists and legal practitioners with extensive experience in the pub trade. But please don’t be shy and if you believe you can contribute to the project with skills or information please make contact you will be very well received.
At the meeting we were trying to ascertain three things:
1. How many of the residents of the area want a pub / what sort of pub?
2. Will a sufficient number of the residents of the area regularly use the pub?
3. Based on the number of people who do want a pub, is it possible to build an executable business plan to acquire and run the pub?
From our initial investigations it looks very clear that there is considerable demand for a community pub, and we will be looking to get more detailed numbers soon. We will be asking that question often and in different ways because it is such an important element in this process. We expect that both interest and support for the pub will increase still further over time as more people appreciate that this is going to be very different experience from before because this will be our community pub. A pub that belongs to local people and is run for the benefit of local people.
Although we are at the early stages of a long and complicated process, we have already come to some important conclusions. Probably the most important at this stage is about how people can get financially involved when we are ready to raise the money to buy the property. We have decided that the cost of buying a share in the pub should be as low as possible and that there should be a limit on the number of shares any individual should be able to own. This is to make the pub ownership as wide as possible and to prevent the project from being hijacked by any individuals that may be seduced by some prospect of short term financial gain. To that end the price of a share will be £2,000 and the maximum individual holding will be 15 shares. We will be investigating ways to make this investment as tax efficient as possible for the investor. We are also keen to allow group ownership of single shares, and we will investigate how this might best be achieved.
It looks as though we may need a structure with two organisations in order to get running. One organisation would own the asset and another would be responsible for the running of the pub. This is because with very widely spread ownership it could be difficult to achieve responsive decision making to run the pub effectively.
Progress in this early stage of the project will inevitably be slow and we have to proceed with great caution. There are some very significant obstacles to overcome and these can take time, however, the level of support for this endeavour has really encouraged us and we will continue to wade through the detail of this investigative phase as quickly as possible, and keep you informed and included along the way.
We are setting up a public web site specific to this project where we will post notes on progress and look for feed back from everybody in specific areas of interest such as what sort of food should be served and all the important things that will make our pub the place we want to spend time with our friends.
Thanks very much for your support and your contributions
The Save The Pheasant team