The Cross Inn, Great Bromley, a few miles outside Colchester, on the edge of neighbouring Ardleigh, closed its doors in May 2015. A few locals didn't want the Cross to become yet another statistic and decided to do something about it. We consulted the villages with questionnaires and public meetings and were overwhelmed by their support. People do think pubs are important, village pubs even more so because they are a community Hub. And that's why this project is here.
We have the unique opportunity to purchase the Cross Inn, Great Bromley from the property developer who is the current owner and re-open it as a community hub. The pub garden has already been lost to housing development, and the local community fears that if we miss this chance, then the pub and car park will follow a similar fate. Interested? Read on.
The people of Great Bromley, Little Bromley and Ardleigh through Save The Bromley Cross have had an offer accepted to purchase the Cross Inn. All we have to do now is raise £210, 000, re-open the pub and turn it into a sustainable community pub and village hub. We promise you that if you help us raise the £210, 000, then our community will do the rest.
We'll restore the Cross Inn to be at the centre of our community and make sure it services the wider area, as it's done historically with great pub food, music, quizzes, festivals and all you expect from a village pub. We will re-open the Post Office, which used to be run from the back room of the pub. And then we'll see what comes next. A community village shop was very popular in our village survey. Let's see what we can do.
We are offering everyone the chance to invest in the Cross Inn by buying shares in our Community Benefit Society. Our minimum investment is £250 for 5 shares, but you can buy up to a maximum of £50, 000. In return you become co-owner and one of the landlords of this fantastic village pub. Additional benefits include:
- A tremendous sense of well being for saving a village pub from property developers who would turn it into housing
- Eligibilty (true for most taxpayers) to reclaim at least 30% of investment from HMRC against your tax liability through the EIS and SEIS schemes for current or previous year (investment needs to be held for 3 years to qualify and you must have paid sufficient tax)
- A single vote, regardless of the number of shares held, at general meetings
- Annual interest payments after 3 years, when profits allow.
You will become a shareholder in The Great Bromley Cross Pub Community Benefit Society Ltd. Full details are in the attached prospectus and business plan.
Please note - if you do buy shares online, we still need you to complete your share application form from the back page of our prospectus and return it to Save The Bromley Cross. Full details are available in the prospectus, which can be downloaded as the "Community Share Offer Document" from the end of this page.
A group of around 20 people, with a great deal of support from the wider community, have formed the core group that have brought the project to this stage. Our management committee of 11 Great Bromley and Ardleigh residents will stand down at our 1st AGM in 2017, and the shareholders will be able to select a new committee to oversee the project for the community.
Owen Blowers - Chair
Owen has lived in Great Bromley for 8 years and is a member of the Parish Council. He is a tax professional specialising in Employment Tax for UK and expatriate employees. He runs his own tax consultancy and is currently working for a major utility company. In the past, he has worked for HM Revenue & Customs, Barclays Bank, Diageo (the global alcoholic drinks company), Chubb Fire & Security and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Jim Craddock - Secretary
Jim has 10 years experience running community businesses in East London. He was chair of the Management Committee of Forest Recycling Project for a number of years, a community business based in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, which is now over 25 years old. Jim really likes pubs. He helps run a local pub quiz league and used to compere open mic nights in the Cross. In his spare time, Jim works in IT, and has 20 years experience running his own IT consultancy companies.
Richard Perry – Treasurer
Richard and his wife Brenda were the landlords of the Cross Inn for over 13 years, reviving it from a very low state to a successful village hub together with the local Sub Post Office. Prior to this they ran the Flag Inn in Wivenhoe for 9 years. After leaving the Royal Navy Richard joined the management of Bass brewing company, on the technical side. Although he is beyond retirement age he still enjoys working part time. He wants, like the rest of us, to be able to relax at the end of the day in a conducive environment with friends and neighbours in our local.
Alan Thomas – Vice Chair
Alan brings an extensive background as a qualified and experienced manager, both General and Asset in a wide range of situations both in the private and public sectors. He has had a very varied career prior to retiring in March 2015, starting with 20 years with P&O leaving as Chief Engineer, then a period of 12 years with Whitbread Brewery as project manager and production manager, followed by 7 years as Engineering Director of Technicolor, then 7 years with Trinity House as their Head Maintenance and Asset Manager and finally 7 years as Asset Manager in Local Government. He served on the Great Bromley Parish Council as Chairman for several years. Since retiring he has kept himself busy sailing, volunteering on the Woolverstone project taking disabled people afloat, acting as a skipper on the River Stour Trust passenger ferries and as the technical manager for the James Stephens 14, a restored lifeboat.
Lesley Broadbent – Business Planning
Lesley has lived in Great Bromley for 17 years. She previously lived in London where she latterly worked at a Housing Trust delivering training on Microsoft software products. She was a Management Committee member of a Walthamstow based community business “Hornbeam Environmental Centre Ltd and Gannets Restaurant”. She helped them in many ways; organising the office systems, helping with the renovations of an old building, acting as a substitute chef; in fact anything that needed doing! She has a wealth of experience on computers and will put this to good use for the Great Bromley Cross Pub CBS. She believes that village pubs are at the heart of the community and must be preserved to keep the community together.
Dinah Jones – Fundraising
Dinah has lived in the village for 31 years and in that time has been part of play group PTA and village hall committee fund raising. She has worked in post offices for 23 years, 10 of those at Great Bromley.
Linda Pinhey – Fundraising & Operations
Linda has been running a successful outside catering business, Sweet Success, from Great Bromley, opposite the Cross Inn, for over 30 years. She brings invaluable experience from managing and catering for large weddings, corporate events and themed parties. In her spare time Linda plays a pivotal role in the local community, organising social and charity events and has raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities.
Bryn Jones – Operations
Bryn has lived in great Bromley for 31 years and has been a professional within the construction industry since graduating in 1981. He has a wide experience in management and design and currently is working as a consultant in this field. He was an active member of the Lions for some years and has been involved in a number of fundraising efforts in the village.
Philip & Linda Reeve - Operations
Prior to retirement in 2007 Philip was the Financial Director and Company Secretary of a major regional construction company. Originally trained as a quantity surveyor he specialised in all aspects of contractual finance together with all forms of commercial administration and management.
Linda has broad and extensive experience in commerce and finance, ranging from specialist sales to financial and investment banking. Subsequently she became involved in the set up of a local vineyard producing its own English wines, also establishing contracts to process the harvest from several other UK vineyards. Jointly unable to resist a new challenge they are the proprietors and operators of the Great Bromley based Sticklegs Brewery.
Nicholas Strowbridge - Shares Co-ordinator
Nick is a senior medical practitioner with a wide range of expertise in all aspects of health provision including primary care and management; an accredited general practitioner and qualified sports physician with over thirty years service in the British Army. Now semi-retired, he has served in the UK and commanded in multinational operational theatres including the Middle East, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He has worked at management board level with extensive experience in delivering strategic planning, organisation development, and personnel management.
Find out more at http://www.greatbromleycross.org.uk/