The Bell Inn Community Buyout scheme to launch this weekend
More details are being made available this week on how drinkers can help buy their local pub.
The Bell Community Buyout is being officially launched this weekend on a dedicated campaign website and Bath residents will have the chance to buy into the business for a minimum of £500.
The Bell Community Buyout is hoping to raise the £925,000 asking price so the pub can be bought and then run by Bathonians, rather than being snapped up by a pub chain.
If the community buyout is successful, the pub will be owned by a cooperative of its customers.
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Current owner Ian Wood announced last autumn that he was putting the pub on the market.
Steve Henwood, who called the first public meeting to discuss a community purchase, said: “The Bell is the latest in a long series of British pubs to be bought by its customers, but differs in that as far as we know no others have paid this kind of asking price and also in that it’s a thriving business rather than the dying one that many village pubs are in these days of cut-price supermarket booze.”
Mr Henwood said the project had been helped by Mr Wood and Bath MP and communities minister, Don Foster.
He added: “Ours is far from the only bid made or expected, and we are accordingly doing all that is needed at a sprint.
“We’ve been lucky to have a great deal of very expert support in matters like community share ownership and structure, and we all now understand that cliché about the steep learning curve.”
Shares will be available from £500 to £20,000. Any investment will also benefit from the Enterprise Investment Scheme, entitling its holders to 30 per cent relief on income tax liability.
Share details will be available from Friday on Bellcommunity.org.uk.
A launch event is being held at The Bell at lunchtime next Saturday, February 16, which is expected to be attended by Mr Foster. More details on this will also be posted on the website.