Our first outline of the project - will be superceded by the Prospectus soon!!

 

Introduction to the Shop Purchase project

PLEASE HELP US TO SECURE OUR SHOP'S LONG TERM FUTURE

 

As you may be aware we rent the Old School House from the Church. Every year this beautiful old building's declining state of repair results in lots of hassle for everyone involved. From our perspective we would much prefer to buy the property rather than rent but this would require substantial funds. However owning the property would enable us to maintain and improve this great community building and shop facility for posterity. Recent discussions with the Parochial Church Council have indicated that they are interested in our proposal, with obvious caveats regarding the purchase price.

 

But how could we raise several hundred thousand pounds to both purchase the property and undertake urgent repairs? Some grants and loans may be available but since 2009 many community businesses have issued Community Shares to raise funds from members of their own community. To date over 120,000 people have raised more than £100m to support 400+ community businesses throughout the UK so we have determined to try to do the same. What are Community Shares and what's so special about them?

 

  1. They can only be issued by registered Community Benefit Societies such as ours.

  2. They pay a competitive interest rate, are withdrawable from the Society at the original purchase price and cannot be traded or transferred between other parties.

  3. To encourage people to invest in their community, the shares qualify as an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) with UK tax authorities. This provides significant personal tax benefits including:

 

 

OUR GOAL

 

To raise over £300,000 towards

the purchase and renovation of the premises of

Almondsbury Community Shop

 

WHY INVEST?

 

To secure the future of a community facility

To make a return on your savings

To receive substantial tax reliefs

To own shares backed by a property asset

 

 

Community Shares are a great opportunity for you to invest in your community and get a return on your savings!! 

 

To help explain, we have produced a pamphlet describing the Community Share offer which is available below (online) and in the shop in paper form.

 

Below you will find the questions addressed in the pamphlet and a link to register your interest in the shares online. A paper form is also available in the shop if you prefer.

 

Links are also provided to some external sources of information about Community Shares for your examination.

 

 

Our Pamphlet answers these questions ;  click them to read the pamphlet for the answers (UPDATED 16 May) or click the link to register your interest...

 

What is Almondsbury Communnity Shop?

 

Who runs the Shop and the Society?

 

What is this investment for?

 

Why invest?

 

What's in it for you?

 

Can anyone buy community shares?

 

What is the minimum investment?

 

Is there a maximum investment?

 

When would the investment be needed?

 

What are the risks of buying community shares?

 

Can I withdraw my shares?

 

How safe is my money?

 

Is the Shop financially robust?

 

What happens next?

 

Register my interest now!

Latest position: October 9th

Thanks to contacts made through the Plunkett Community Shops group on Facebook (!!), we have spoken with two independent consultants with experience of Community Shares and their tax implications. Both advised us that the approach we are now following would most likely be approved by HMRC and we should now move forward with it. Note that neither could guarantee HMRC decisions but were confident we satisfied all the normal conditions!

 

Our Investment Plan is now based on the following approach:

  1. We will ask community members to invest in Community Shares in one of two forms...

 

a) Shares that will attract a 30% tax refund after HMRC submission and acceptance. These shares will be limited to around £300,000 due to the rules of the SITR relief scheme. (Social Investment Tax Relief). They should only be requested by members who pay income tax and require a tax refund to support their investment.

 

b) Shares that will not be submitted for tax relief. Because we need to raise more than £300,000 we are hoping there will be enough members who do not require tax relief to help us top up the pot. There is no limit to this form.

 

Both a) and b) forms will attract interest each year unless the member waives that right on their application. Both forms can withdraw their capital after 3 years subject to details in our earlier pamphlet. One member can only apply for a) OR b) shares but not both.

 

  1. We will also ask members if they are willing to donate funds without interest, tax refund or ability to withdraw capital as a purely social gift to their community.

 

The plan will be discussed at our AGM and will be fully explained in our Share Prospectus which should be published shortly after the AGM.

 

Given the fantastic response to our request for expressions of interest, we are confident we can raise the required funds in this way to continue with the project.

 

 

 

Reminder: The shop AGM will be held at 7:30pm on friday, October 13th in the Old School Hall. 

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an Extraordinary General Meeting was held in the Old School Hall at 7:30pm on monday, June 5th. 

 

92 members attended to discuss our project to buy the shop property and issue Community Shares to help cover the cost. That's 40% of our membership!  

 

Our chairman, Alun Evans, presented and explained the details of the project and members asked several technical questions for clarification. This will all be reflected in the share prospectus when it is issued in August.

 

A key point to mention now is that to become a Community Shareholder, a person has to be a member of ACSA first (at a one off cost of £2 as always). After the share issue, members and shareholders will have equal voting rights: 1 vote per person regardless of the amount of shares purchased. This will maintain the widest possible involvment across our community in decisions about the future of the shop.

 

This led onto a consideration of whether the volunteer ethos of the shop community could be threatened by the existence of different types of community member – after discussion, a vote was called which confirmed unanimously (from where I sat!) that the ethos was not under threat.

 

At the end of the meeting members voted unanimously to proceed with the project as discussed.

 

A comment that this was our opportunity to provide a legacy to our community for many years to come, seemed to sum up the feeling of a very positive meeting.

 

The presentation and notes from the Q&A can be downloaded by clicking the links below.

 

Thanks to everyone for their attendance and support.

First published Wednesday 25 March 2015 in Thornbury News by Joshua Wright

 

A VITAL community facility in Almondsbury celebrated another successful year with a special get-together.

The sixth anniversary of Almondsbury Community Shop, which was named as the best village store in the Midlands in the 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards, provided an opportunity for villagers to celebrate the stores continued success.

With more than 60 volunteers helping to make sure the not-for-profit store keeps running, the birthday celebration on Saturday, March 21 was well-attended.

Ruth Robison, one of more than 70 volunteers at the shop and a member of the organising committee, said that the store had become a hub for the village.

“I think it’s been a huge benefit to the Almondsbury,” she said. “The shop provides a valuable service, we’ve had youngsters who come in and work for their work experience and it helps support the thriving community.

She added that celebrating these milestones was important in making sure the shop stays at the forefront of the community.

“It is important that we keep it in everyone’s attention and we are having more and more people use the shop all the time.

“We have had a number of people using the shop who said they didn’t know we were here and whenever there’s a newcomer to the village we give them a welcome leaflet and a £5 voucher to use in the shop.”

“We had tremendous support at the celebration from people in the village and from our local MP.”

Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti helped celebrate the milestone at the event and afterwards he praised the dedication of the store’s many volunteers.

He said: “It was a real honour to be invited along to cut the cake (which was delicious!) at the Almondsbury Shop Birthday Party on Saturday.

“The Almondsbury Shop has become over several years, thanks to the hard work of Alun and all the local volunteers, an invaluable and crucial part of the Almondsbury Community.

“So many happy returns and huge congratulations to all the volunteers for what they have achieved.”

Almondsbury Community Shop


14 Church Road;

Sundays Hill

Almondsbury

Bristol

BS32 4ED

Phone: 01454 202412
E-mail: info@almondsburycommunityshop.org.uk

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ACSA Ltd - listed as Registered Society number 29956R with the Financial Conduct Authority under the Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies Act 2014