Let's secure the Fountain Head Inn forever

by Fountain Community Organisation in Halifax, England, United Kingdom

Let's secure the Fountain Head Inn forever

£5,100

raised of £135,000 target

2

investors
3% 24 days left
This project will only be funded if at least £135,000 is pledged by 2nd September 2020 at 10:00am

We're want to buy the Fountain Head Inn in Pellon, Halifax and run it as a cracking community pub and secure it for future generations

by Fountain Community Organisation in Halifax, England, United Kingdom

With the loss of so many pubs in the last few years we have decided to stop the rot and not only stop this one from closing but to expand both its inhouse services and the community benefits it can provide.

For generations, the Fountain Head Inn has served the community. Like all the best pubs, it’s the kind of place that people already feel they own – they talk about it as ‘my pub’, even though the ownership has never been in their hands.

But the people who do own it need to sell and we want to give those local people the chance to finally make the pub as much owned by the community as we’ve always felt it to be. 

The wider area has seen 22 pubs close in recent years, the Fountain Head Inn isn’t actually doing badly – it’s got a set of regulars who provide it with the regular income it needs.  That’s not to say it can’t do better, and we have big plans for how to improve the pub and make it even more sustainable. 

 

But the threat is simply because the people who own it need to move on, and they’re up for offers from whomever can make their asking price. They’ve given us, the local community, time to get our act together as they would like to ensure that the pub carries on, but ultimately, they have their own deadlines and if we’re not in position to buy it, someone else will and we can’t have any confidence that those new owners would want to run it as a local community pub, or run it as a pub at all.

 

If we want the Fountain Head to carry on being the heart of the community, we the community need to step up. And if we do, not only will we preserve the pub for future generations of users, we’ll also be able to unleash the power of the pub to serve our local community even better by being more than just a pub. 

 

Heritage Since the 1790’s

The building that is now the pub was originally the Fountain Head Farm, built in 1792.  Samuel Webster was born here in 1813, the founder of Websters Brewery and the first Websters ales were brewed on the site in 1838.  Websters Brewery is as synonymous with Halifax heritage as the Piece Hall or Gentleman Jack, and so we intend to obtain Blue plaque status to further protect the building. 

 

Protecting the pub

Once we buy it, it will be protected for generations. The society has a ‘Statutory Asset Lock’ in place, which means that no-one can ever profit from the sale of the building in future. If the pub were ever to be sold, it would be at full market value, and the proceeds would – after repaying shareholders – be used to benefit the local community. The pub would continue to operate as long as we, the local community, wanted it to. We’d have control in our hands. 

 

More than a Pub

The days when a pub could exist solely on selling alcohol to a steady stream of regulars day-in, day-out have long gone. Competition from supermarkets, cafés, bars, restaurants and other pubs mean that we have to think about what we offer and how that keeps pace with people’s changing tastes and needs including:

  • Installing a modern kitchen that means we can offer the kind of menu that provides the food people want at a price they can afford.
  • Extend the Pub to the front to create a space for up to 60 people, with the extension including energy generating facilities. 
  • Create a Games room on the site of the present toilets, and build new toilets
  • Ensure new and existing spaces allow for Disabled access.
  • Create an Arts and crafts outlet available for short term rent for local craftspeople. 

How much will this cost?

There’s three ways we can move this project forward:

Scenario 1 – if we can raise at least £135,000, we believe we can borrow the remainder of the money we need to purchase the pub. We’ll not be able to undertake the renovations with significant grant funding, which will take time, and might not be possible. And, as we won’t have the extra-revenues that would come from an expanded pub, until either the debt was paid down or the funding found to expand the pub, we wouldn’t be in position to pay investors interest or allow them to have their capital repaid to them. 

Scenario 2if we can raise £335,000, we can buy the pub and then take out a commercial mortgage to borrow the money we need to undertake the renovations. As this will lead to higher revenues, we believe that we can afford to pay investors up to 2.3% year and still allow investments to be withdrawn (ie, repaid) from year 4 onwards, whilst still paying off the loan. 

Scenario 3if we can raise £500,000 we can use the extra cash for the renovation and extension costs meaning we would not need the mortgage mentioned in scenario 2.  The less debt we have will lower the repayments, which in turn will increase the rate at which we can return capital to our investors. 


What exactly are Community Shares?

This is a community share issue, which works a lot more like a bank account, as you get your money back through withdrawing it from the society, and we can only give it back to you if we’re doing well as a business.

Each year, we will put at least 25% of profits generated into a fund to allow investors to  be repaid their investment, which you will be able to apply for after 3 years.

Where possible we will allow the full amount requested but each year, we will decide how much money can be withdrawn, and then pay that out in proportion to the total amount requested to be withdrawn. 

Our projections show that we can afford to start allowing 20% of capital to be returned to members from the 5th year after trading.

Rewards

  • The minimum investment in this share offer is £100, and for that, everyone will get to become an owner of the Pub and a vote at our AGM and a chance to stand for the Board of Directors each year.
  • Every year, we'll have a prize draw to win £1000 towards a holiday, and for every £100 up to £2,500 invested, you get an extra ticket into that draw, guaranteed (so, if you invest £200, you get 2 tickets, £500 gets 5 tickets and so on). 
  • In addition, everyone gets at least 4 years' membership of our Regulars' Discount Club which enables you to get discounts on foot and and drink and the right to use our members' bar and a free buffet every Sunday and on New Years' Day. The more you invest, the more years' membership you will get. 
  • People who can invest at least £2,500 will get the chance to reclaim 30% of the value of their investment  using Social Investment Tax Relief.
  • Finally, people who can invest at least £10,000 will get annual interest on their share capital starting at 1.5% per year, rising by a 0.1% point for every additional £10,000 invested.


1592576704_fountainrewards.png

You can see a selection of these rewards on this page - if the amount you'd like to invest isn't shown there, click the nearest reward that is less than the amount you want to invest, and then at the final stage before you enter you click to invest, you can top this up to what you'd want to invest. So, if you want to invest £400, click '£250 Investment ' and top it up with an additional £150 and so on.

As this is a share issue, everyone is encouraged to read:

  • Our Offer Document which sets everything out in more detail.
  • Our Business Pan.
  • Our Rules, which form the basis of the contract between us and you, the investor. 

Levels of Investment

£100 or more

Minimum Investment

Get to be an owner of the Fountain Head and help save it for the future AND 1 ticket per £100 invested in the Annual Holiday Draw AND a vote at our AGM and a chance to stand for the board AND 4 years free membership of our Regulars' Discount Club

£250 or more

250 Investment

Get to be an owner of the Fountain Head and help save it for the future, TWO tickets in the Annual Holiday Draw AND a vote at our AGM and a chance to stand for the board AND 4 years free membership of our Regulars' Discount Club

£500 or more

£500 Investment

Get to be an owner of the Fountain Head and help save it for the future, FIVE tickets in the Annual Holiday Draw AND a vote at our AGM and a chance to stand for the board AND 4 years free membership of our Regulars' Discount Club

£1,000 or more

£1,000 Investment

Get to be an owner of the Fountain Head and help save it for the future, TEN tickets in the Annual Holiday Draw AND a vote at our AGM and a chance to stand for the board AND 4 years free membership of our Regulars' Discount Club1

£2,500 or more

£2,500 and above

30% Tax Relief on your investment AND 25 tickets for the Annual Holiday Draw AND 10 years' free membership of our Regulars' Discount Club AND Get to be an owner of the Fountain Head and help save it for the future and a vote at our AGM and a chance to stand for the board

£10,000 or more

£10,000 and above

Everything in the rewards for £2,500 and above AND 1.5% interest on your investment, rising by 0.1% for every additional £10,000 invested AND lifetime membership of the Regulars' Discount Club

Let's make 'Let's secure the Fountain Head Inn forever' happen

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