Welcome to the website of the
Community Boot Inn, Orleton.
The Boot Inn has operated as a thriving pub at the heart of Orleton village for many years. Unfortunately the pub was closed in 2017 and is now at risk of being sold for residential development.
The community has formed a Community Benefit Society and is in the process of putting together a bid to purchase the Boot Inn and reopen it as a business in the village. If successful, this would safeguard the future of the Boot Inn as a community facility for many years to come.
If you would like to support the community bid, we are currently seeking pledges to indicate the level of financial support available and we would be delighted to hear from you!
Thank you for your interest and support.
The Current Situation
The Boot Inn has been a thriving pub in the past, attracting custom from Orleton and surrounding villages and indeed from further afield with a deserved reputation for well-priced good food.
However it has latterly been considerably run down by its former owner before being closed in June 2017 and placed into voluntary liquidation, possibly with a view to its potential as a development site. There is not one but two listed buildings on the site, both listed by Herefordshire County Council to protect them as valuable architectural assets, which feel strongly should be upheld. The Parish council has listed the pub as an ‘asset of community value’ which gave the community the right to bid for its purchase.
The Community Boot Inn (Orleton) Limited (CBIL) proposal is to buy the Boot Inn from the Liquidator and appoint a professional tenant with the experience and skills to run the pub as a profitable and successful business for the benefit of the community and other users.
Our objective is to have a friendly and welcoming village pub that serves local beers and sensibly priced freshly prepared food. As support for a community pub has grown, we can see that the Boot Inn could be more than a pub, and we propose to introduce a range of community amenities including a café, coffee and lunch clubs for older and less mobile people and potentially more.
We will set a fair rent and agree a lease with the tenant who will run the pub as a free house selling food and drink, also, in due course, including café fare. The rent will be set at a level that gives the tenant the opportunity and incentive to run a profitable pub and café business, and which will provide the revenue for us to maintain the building, to repay any loans we take out, and when cash reserves permit, to pay a modest interest to share-holders and to fund the withdrawal of shares from time to time.
We firmly believe that the business will be profitable, but in the unlikely event it is not CBIL will own a valuable asset – the building and land associated with it – which if necessary could be sold in order to return funds to investors. Our investment is in the building and land – the bricks and mortar – not the licensed business.
We will soon be releasing our full prospectus which will outline in detail how the business will be purchased, managed and run on a day-to-basis. This document will also answer any questions on the financial structure of the organisation as well as potential returns for those making pledges / investments in the Boot Inn.
Ahead of the prospectus release though, you can download our draft business plan here which will hopefully answer many of your questions.
More than a Pub
More Than A Pub: The Community Pub Business Support programme is a unique two year programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England. Its value is £3.62 million and is jointly funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and independent trust Power to Change. It is being delivered by Plunkett Foundation in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, Key Fund, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub and Locality. For the first time it will offer the community pub sector access to an end-to-end support programme including capacity building and a finance package made up of loans and grants.
The Community Boot Inn (Orleton) Limited (CBIL)
The Community Boot Inn (Orleton) Limited (CBIL) is a community benefit society that has been formed to purchase the Boot Inn and secure its future for the benefit of the community. It has been successfully registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Purchase of the minimum number of shares will confer membership of the Society, giving members control over the business through the annual election of a Management Committee and voting rights on significant issues at regular meetings. Community benefit societies are by law intended to be democratic organisations, and all members will have an equal vote, regardless of the size of their shareholding, and will have the protection of limited liability.
The Society’s rules contain a statutory asset lock. This is a constitutional device that prevents the distribution of residual assets to members. The purpose of the asset lock is to ensure that the community benefit of any retained surplus or residual value cannot be appropriated for the private benefit of members after all members’ share capital has been refunded according to the rules of the Society.
At this stage, we are looking for registrations of interest in the form of pledges. This will help us make an accurate assessment of the financial picture so that we can structure loans accordingly. For more information, and to make your pledge to help save the Boot Inn, please find out more here.
You can get involved in a number of ways:
1. Spread the word!
Let people know that there is yet another community pub and community asset under threat. The more people know the better, it will help us build a case for the importance of the pub as a cornerstone in our community. You can get involved on our facebook page here and share, share, share...
2. Write an email, or two!
There's nothing like letting your ward councillor or MP know about how you feel about the closure of the pub and having it languish on the open market. Please email either (or both) of the individuals below to let them know of your concerns and urge further support of our initiative.
Councillor Sebastian Bowen - Bircher Ward Councillor. SEND EMAIL
Bill Wiggin - MP for North Herefordshire. SEND EMAIL
3. Make a pledge
By making a pledge of potential financial support in helping us put together our bid, you send out a clear signal that you really care about the future of the Boot Inn and what it means to our community. Better yet, in getting involved in the bid, you will have the ability to be more closely involved with business as an ongoing concern, You can download a pledge for here, or use the form below to register your interest too.