FAQ

  • Why should I buy community shares?
    AHCHL needs your investment to help purchase the Golden Lion. Sufficient investment is required from the community to enable the Golden Lion to be re-established as a sustainable business.
  • Who will benefit from this project?
    The residents and friends of Ashton Hayes and surrounding areas will benefit directly from having this vital amenity, which will provide a range of facilities to support the village’s ambitions. The Golden Lion will play a part in making Ashton Hayes a stronger, more vibrant and cohesive community in which to live.  In addition it is expected that the presence of village pub will enhance local property values.
  • 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 that 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.  There are currently over 50 Community owned pubs, none have failed to date.
  • Will I receive interest from my shares?
    We aim to pay a reasonable interest rate to our members. Our business plan assumes we will pay 3% interest, but this will always be dependent on the success of the business. Interest will be paid gross and it is each member’s responsibility to declare such earnings to HMRC if appropriate.
  • Will you be paying a fair price for the Golden Lion?
    We have had 2 initial valuations of the building the latest from an independent consultant, supported by our bursary from the Plunkett Foundation. Subsequently an offer for the freehold and assets has been made to the estate agents managing the sale of the Golden Lion. This has neither been accepted nor rejected by the estate agent on behalf of the current owner. However, you can be assured that we will attempt to achieve the lowest possible price.
  • Who are the people behind this project? Do they have a personal interest?
    The Management Committee consists of a group of local residents who care passionately about the Golden Lion, the social role of pubs and the future heritage of the area. They have voluntarily donated their time and efforts to develop the business plan and the way forward and have registered the company. They will be investing in shares. They will have no personal financial interest in the project, above and beyond their own investment in community shares. Their work has been supplemented with advice and considerable support from people and organisations such as the Plunkett Foundation and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
  • Who will run the Golden Lion and make the day-to-day decisions about the business?
    The Management Committee will oversee the performance of the business and seek to ensure that it meets the goals set down in the vision statement. The plan is to appoint an experienced tenant to run the day-to-day pub under a tenancy agreement with AHCHL. This is the strong view of the community, as it brings in essential experience and minimizes the draw on community time. There will be governance and reporting arrangements in place to monitor financial and other performance. A formal ‘open book’ agreement will be sought to share feedback and other information between the Society and the tenant. Shareholders will be invited to annual meetings to discuss performance and significant decisions about the future of the Golden Lion.
  • Do my shares give me voting rights?
    Yes, they do. Everyone has an equal voice, regardless of the size of their investment.
  • How do I get my money back?
    You will be able to withdraw your shares after the first three years. 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 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 we serve.
  • What happens if the purchase of the Golden Lion falls through?
    It is possible that we will be unable to complete the purchase, even after we have secured the funds. In the unlikely event that this happens we would return any funds we have received, after deducting any remaining losses. In the worst case, you might lose 5p in the £1 of the initial costs.
  • Will I get my investment back if the Golden Lion fails?
    All the assets, including the freehold of the building, would be sold and the sale proceeds (after paying any creditors) divided between the shareholders up to the value of their shares. This share offer is unregulated, as it 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 Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • What happens if the necessary expertise is not available
    An essential part of the planned approach agreed with the community is to appoint an experienced and resourceful tenant with a track record of success. This may be achieved through engagement of a professional consultant who has experience of such recruitment.  The tenant will appoint suitable staff and will be encouraged to recruit locally.
  • What happens if the projected levels of trading are not achieved
    The forecasts have been based on the experience of the consultant working with many such community ventures over the last several years. The initial sales forecasts have been scaled back to reflect a period to develop the potential of the business. In addition, the level of profitability on food and drinks sales has been scaled back to reflect a more attractive offering to the community.  A sensitivity analysis of the level of sales shows that in a full year the business would remain profitable even with sales down to circa. £350,000 compared to those forecast of £403,000.
  • What happens if the running costs are not adequately controlled
    Managing costs is a key criterion when selecting a tenant. All expenditure on the building and business will have to be carefully scrutinised to ensure it makes sense, particularly whilst establishing a sustainable business.
  • What happens if the setup costs are higher than anticipated
    Several reviews of the setup costs have been carried out, including 2 market valuations of the buildings over the last couple of years, as well as 3 different estimates of refurbishment costs. The costs in the current business plan and prospectus have been reviewed by both the management committee and by independent consultants.
  • What happens if the required level of funding is not achieved
    The prospectus lays out what funding is necessary, from where and the current position, albeit yet to be secured. These proposals would be viable even if the Share Offer fell short by £50,000, albeit future investment plans would have to be amended. If adequate funding is not achieved then all monies will be returned, less a small amount necessarily incurred by this share offer. It should also be noted that several other potential smaller sources of grants have been identified and will be followed up separately. It remains critically important that the community invests to achieve its strong desire to re-establish the Golden Lion for the community.
  • What if the tenant leaves suddenly?
    An arrangement will be sought with an agency to source a ‘stand in’ manager in this event, and the Management Committee will step in to support the ‘stand in’ whilst a new tenant is sought.

Questions and Answers Related to your Application

  • How much does each share cost?
    Each share costs £200 and you can invest up to £25,000 in multiples of £200.
  • What is the maximum number of shares I can buy?
    You can invest up to £25,000 (125 shares).
  • Can I buy joint shares with my partner?
    One application form should be completed for each person wishing to buy shares so two forms will need to be completed, signed and dated, one for you and one for your partner.
  • Can we send one cheque to cover both my application and my partner's?
    Ideally each form should be accompanied by a cheque drawn on the applicant’s bank account. If you have a joint account with your partner one cheque can be attached to cover both applications.
  • Who do we make my cheque payable to?
    Cheques should be dated, signed and made payable to Ashton Hayes Community Hub Ltd.
  • Where to I send my application?
    The application form(s), together with a signed and dated cheque(s) should be placed in a sealed envelope and either handed to Helen Rimmer at the Post Office or posted to Ashton Hayes Community Hub Ltd., c/o Ashton Hayes Post Office, Kelsall Road, Ashton Hayes, CH3 8BH.
  • Will I get a receipt?
    If you hand your application in at the Post Office, Helen will give you a receipt. We will also acknowledge receipt of your application once it has been checked and safely stored.
  • What do you do with data you collect?
    Please read our Privacy Policy for full details.
  • What is my tax liability?
    Please note that we cannot give advice about tax liability. The following is taken from the Community Shares website. For specific questions please contact HMRC. Liability for income tax on share interest. In most circumstances, members of a society must pay income tax on all their earnings and receipts from the society (See HMRC Self-Assessment Claims Manual SACM). In the context of community shares, these receipts will normally be in the form of interest on share capital. Interest on share capital is a deductible expense for corporation tax purposes, but the receipt is liable for income tax payable by the member. HMRC does not normally require societies to deduct income tax on share interest paid to members; but it is the responsibility of members to declare their gross earnings and receipts to HMRC, including any such share interest payments. Societies are obliged to inform HMRC of any gross interest payments to members on shares or loans to the value of £250 or more per annum, by providing the names and contact details of these members. If share interest is paid to members who are non-UK residents, the society must deduct income tax from the payment (see HMRC manual SAIM 9200). Interest paid on withdrawable shares in societies is eligible for the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA), introduced on 6 April 2016. The PSA will apply a 0% rate for up to £1,000 of savings income received by a basic rate (20%) taxpayer, or up to £500 of savings income for a higher rate (40%) taxpayer. The PSA will not apply to savings income received by 45% additional rate taxpayers. If a member already pays tax through a PAYE code, and their total untaxed income from savings and investments is less than £2,500, they can request that any tax they owe is collected through their tax code.  If their income from these sources is £2,500 or more they will need to complete a tax return.