Does the Big Society Capital Match funding need to be paid back?
If we are successful and are awarded the BSC match funding, then we may prioritise withdrawals of investment to Big Society Capital over other investors.

Although the BSC funds might look like a loan, in reality, they are withdrawable capital, and BSC’s investment is in the same boat as everyone else who invests – if there’s enough money to prudently allow interest and withdrawal, then the board have choices. If there isn’t, they have no right to anything.

Interest would be paid to everyone equally. The only preference might be that if there is a surplus that can support withdrawals, the board can priorities BSC if they think that’s best. That’s a decision for the board at that time in the future.

How can I find out more about the project?
You can find the Rules for our Society and you can download a copy of the full business plan here. Each member of the Steering Group will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.

If the local community had used the pub before it wouldn't be closed, so why bother now?
Many community members stopped using the pub over the past few years because the owners, Enterprise Inns chose not to invest their profit into the pub and subsequently the pub became run down, less appealing to the customers and fell into a state of disrepair. Caverswall Community Society is a “not for profit organisation” so any profit that is generated through the success of the business will be immediately reinvested into the pub enhancing its appeal to the customers.

Why should I buy community shares?
Your investment is vital in helping us purchase the Auctioneers Arms. Without sufficient investment from the community we will be unable to purchase the freehold of the premises and establish the trading business and the more money we can raise from the community the less reliant we are on commercial loans.

Who will benefit from this project?
The residents of Cookshill and Caverswall and the surrounding village communities will benefit directly by preserving this vital village pub. By making an investment you will be ensuring that the Auctioneers Arms re-establishes itself as the hub of the village helping to provide essential services and building a vibrant community facility which can be enjoyed by both current and future generations.

Is this a good business proposition?
We expect and will require the business to be a profitable venture. We have carefully evaluated its strengths and weaknesses and our projections show we can establish it as a successful business. It is well proven that communities that work together to set up such an enterprise will support it in the future. You can download a copy of the full business plan here or a hardcopy can be obtained by contacting getinvolved@caverswallcommunitysociety.co.uk.

Who are the people behind this project? Do they have a personal interest?
The Steering Group consists of a group of local residents who care passionately about saving the Auctioneers Arms from residential development and ensuring its position as the community hub of Cookshill and Caverswall. They have voluntarily contributed a large amount of time to the project. They will have no personal financial interest in the project above and beyond their own investment in community shares or charges made by their businesses which will have to be approved by the Steering Group and the individual will have to declare their interest in the business concerned prior to any approval. Their personal profiles have been outlined in the share offer document.

What advice has the Steering Group taken on running a community pub?
The Steering Group has taken advice and received support from multiple sources including Plunkett Foundation, Pub is the Hub, professional advisers from many disciplines, other community pubs, CAMRA and of course the community itself.

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Who will run the Auctioneers Arms and make the day-to-day decisions about the business?
We intend to recruit a professional Manager to run the day to day business. The Management Committee will oversee the performance of the business and ensure it meets the targets set down in the business plan. member of the Steering Group will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Who are the Management Committee?
Only Members (ie. Shareholders in Caverswall Community Society) may be elected to serve on the Management Committee. Members of the Management Committee elected by the Members shall hold office (unless vacated beforehand) until the conclusion of the third AGM after their appointment. The Management Committee is elected each year by and from the Members at the AGM. The Management Committee may co- opt other Members onto the Management Committee but these appointments are only valid until the next AGM.
The initial Management Committee will comprise the seven members of the campaign Steering Group plus three additional individuals with appropriate skills to be appointed as soon as the pub purchase has been completed. All members of the initial Management Committee will retire at the rst AGM in accordance with the Society’s Rules (but may o er themselves for reelection). Thereafter, members of the Management Committee will retire in a phased way over the following three years in accordance with the Rules of the Society.Further information regarding the composition of the Management Committee, the appointment of its members and the regulation of its meetings etc, is set out in the Rules which can be found on our website.

How do I buy shares?
You can choose one of two options to purchase shares:
• Paper application form with payment by BACS or cheque
• Online via the Crowdfunder platform (http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/auctioneers-arms/?)
The share application form plus details of payment methods and the Crowdfunder website can be found on our website.
Funds will only be drawn down (or cheques banked) if the acquisition proceeds and it is only at this time that share certificates will be produced. It is important that funds are not drawn down or banked in advance as the rules of the Society prevent share withdrawal for the first 3 years. The funds will be drawn down and cheques cashed in order to pay the deposit once our bid to purchase the pub has been accepted.

Why is the minimum investment £250?
A relatively low minimum investment level of £250 was set to give as many individuals as possible the opportunity to invest whilst being high enough to limit the ongoing member administration workload for the Society.

Do my shares give me voting rights?
Yes, this is a democratic structure based on one member one vote, regardless of the size of your investment.

How do I get my money back?
You will not be able to withdraw your money during the first three years. After that, you will need to give at least three months’ notice. You cannot sell or transfer your shares, and withdrawals must be funded from surpluses or new capital raised from members. The Management Committee may suspend withdrawals depending on the long-term interests of the Society, the need to maintain adequate reserves, and the commitment to the community.

Can I transfer my shares to someone else?
No, unless you die or become bankrupt.

Will I get my investment back if the Auctioneers Arms fails?
All the business’ assets, including the freehold of the building, would be sold and the proceeds of the sale (after paying any loans) divided between the shareholders up to the value of their shares. There is every likelihood you will receive the full value of your share back or you might receive less than this.

What is my liability should I invest?
Your liability does not exceed the price of your shares.

What redress do I have if the business fails and I lose the value of my shares?
The share offer is exempt from the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or subsidiary regulations, which means there is no right of complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, nor can you apply to the FSCS.

Will I receive interest on my shares?
We aim to pay interest on the shares but this will be subject to the provisions and limits specified within the society’s Rules and will reflect the performance of the business. However during the first year of community ownership we believe it is not prudent to commit to making an interest payment. Interest will be paid gross and it is each member’s responsibility to declare such income to HMRC if appropriate.