Goings-on update

Just a short note to give an update on what’s happening with the pub purchase.

We are continuing to interview for a manager for the Brook and hope to make a decision by next Friday.

Accountant David Lincoln from the village has come forward to fill the gap vacated by George Wiseman who was forced to stand aside because of illness.

David brings a wealth of accountancy experience to the committee and will help steer the purchase and the inevitable turbulence once we take over the running of the pub – so welcome to him.

As we near D-Day, we felt it was time to bring more formality to proceedings based on board of directors’ decisions rather than just a committee as is required under company law.

Up until now, Back the Brook Ltd has had three nominal directors: Ian Evans, Alan, Amphlett Lewis and George Wiseman who have all been at most of the public meetings. Those three are also co-signatories on the company bank account at Barclays (each cheque needing two of the three signatories).

Because George has had to stand down, Ian and Alan decided to bring more directors on board – parish council chairman Keith Armes, Andrew Burl and David Lincoln who will also be co-signatories on the bank account. The decision taken on Thursday will have immediate effect.

However, once the purchase has taken place we plan to hold a general meeting when shareholders will get the chance to formally vote on the future board which will oversee the running of the pub and make strategic decisions. We hope to hold that meeting sooner rather than later after the purchase.

If there are any questions or queries about this please do contact us via the website.

Hopefully we will have positive news about progress in the coming weeks but in the meantime the pub continues to be open and ready for your trade.

Regards

Ian Evans on behalf of the committee

Village letter

The following letter has been posted to villagers:

Dear Villager

The community’s efforts to buy the Brook Inn are drawing to a conclusion with the appointed solicitors continuing with the purchase procedure. We have pencilled in a mid-June date for exchange and completion four weeks later after which we will issue share certificates…barring any hiccups.

So far we have raised nearly £340,000 towards the original £400,000 target – enough for the £290,000 purchase price. If you have contributed to that total, the committee would like to extend its gratitude for your investment and support.

However…we are still £60,000 short, money we need for stock, cash flow and future capital expenditure. There are plans to borrow a sum to pay for the VAT on the purchase which we will get back from the Government after a short delay but we would like to keep future borrowings to a minimum.

Therefore the fundraising is continuing and we’re keen to attract new investors to the cause. If you have not done so already, would you consider investing in the pub or do you know others who would?

Not only would you and they be helping to secure the future of the pub, but there attractive tax benefits including the Enterprise Investment Scheme for taxpayers who can claim back nearly a third of their share costs. There are also income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax benefits. All the details can be found on the business plan on our website www.backthebrook.co.uk.

One of the key aspects of the project is obtaining a good manager. We have put adverts in the East Anglian Daily Times/Evening Star and on the website and received an encouraging response with interviews due to be held in the coming weeks.

Looking further forward clearly there are a lot of things to do. Some of this will involve the hands-on work of upgrading The Brook Inn and the flat above. The committee is considering the establishment of a working party to co-ordinate that work and so are looking for volunteers to carry out the plans. Can you volunteer your time or skills? If so contact us via the website email info@backthebrook.co.uk

The committee also needs strengthening for the tasks ahead. Encouragingly we have recently had two people enquire about joining it. Unfortunately George Wiseman has had to withdraw from the committee for health reasons so we are looking for someone with accountancy skills who can help steer the project.

As stated earlier, we are very grateful to all those who have invested in the pub and/or offered their services to the Back the Brook initiative. However we do need that extra push to get us over the finishing line and beyond. If you can help the committee in any way, we would be very grateful.

Regards

The committee, Back the Brook