top of page


Here are some answers to our most commonly asked questions. 

This project is a new challenge for our community so we welcome all your questions. East Harptree Community Benefit Society is run by a team who bring many years of business experience to the group (along with a collective appreciation of a great village pub). But we're also a group of volunteers raising funds to purchase a community pub for the first time, so please bear with us and support us wherever you can.


We'll be adding to this list of FAQs regularly, so if you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us at with your question.

Share Offer

How do I apply for shares?

Go to the 'Buy Shares' tab to fill out the online share application form. If you are not able to go online you will be able to pick up a hardcopy application form in EH Community Shop. There will also be a reference copy of the Share Offer Prospectus and Business Plan at the shop that you can look at. There will also be copies of application forms available in the side porch of Home Farm on Water Street for when the shop is closed.

What is the price per share?

£1. They can only be purchased in multiples of £100

What are the min/max shares I can buy?

The minimum buy in is £100 and the maximum is £50,000 (in multiples of £100)

What is the minimum age that can buy shares?

18 (shares cannot be bought by others for children under 18)

How many votes do I get per share?

It’s one vote per member regardless of how many shares you buy

Can people group together to buy shares?

Up to 10 people can form a group or syndicate of friends. All those in the group will be recognised as part of the syndicate on the application form, but only the named representative will have a vote as the syndicate’s representative.

What interest can I expect to receive on my investment?

The business plan shows that after the first full year of trading we aim to pay you interest of 3%. This is dependent on the pub doing a good trade. The level of return will be recommended by the management committee each year based on the financial results and put to the membership to decide on.

Will the investment in shares qualify for tax relief?

EHCBS does not qualify for Enterprise Investment Scheme or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme tax reliefs. Donations will not qualify for Gift Aid as EHCBS is not a charity.

Will I get a share certificate or statement?

When the fundraising target has been reached and the share offer closes you will get a share certificate or a share account statement.

Can I get my original investment back?

Members are able to apply to withdraw (cash-in) their shares, after 3 years. This is to allow  the business an initial period of financial stability. The Management Committee will decide how many shares can be cashed in and have the right to refuse or suspend withdrawals if there is insufficient liquidity in the business. We anticipate that a small share withdrawal fund equivalent to 1% of the total members funds will be available annually from the 3rd anniversary of the initial funding round. The management committee will recommend to the membership repurchase of such shares based on a first come first served policy but will also advise on out of sequence repurchase in special circumstances such as bereavement. 

Whilst the Management Committee will make every effort to honour member requests to withdraw capital, there is no guarantee of when you’ll be able to withdraw it. We have projected £4,000 per annum for share withdrawals from 2027 onwards. You must treat these shares as highly illiquid and should not invest any money you may need to draw upon in the foreseeable future.

Can I buy shares if I am under 18?

Under the rules of EHCBS you must be 18 years or over to own shares and become a voting member. As EHCBS will own, and influence decisions about, licensed premises it was felt that membership should mirror the alcohol age restriction.

Can someone who does not live in East Harptree buy shares?

The share offer is open to anyone who is interested in securing the future of the Waldy. We hope to attract interest from current and past users across the whole of the Waldy’s catchment area extending as far as Bristol, Bath and Wells.

Will there be new share offers in the future?

We’d like all newcomers to the village to have the opportunity to become members. This will help us raise new funds to improve the pub and let people withdraw, if they wish to. Hence, after the initial share offer closes, we anticipate there will be an ongoing open offer.

Can someone who does not live in East Harptree buy shares?

This is an open share offer is open to anyone who is interested in securing the future of the Waldy. We hope to attract interest from current and past users across the whole of the Waldy’s catchment area extending as far as Bristol, Bath and Wells.

Can I sell my shares to other people?

The shares that members buy can be sold back to EHCBS) but they are not transferable (ie members’ shares cannot be transferred to anyone else except in the case of bankruptcy or death of the shareholder). This arrangement allows the Society to be exempt from the Financial Services and Markets Act for Society share issues. The exemption specifically enables a share offer to the public for a social return rather than a financial one.

How has the phasing of the project changed?

Once the pub has been acquired, the intent is to accelerate recruitment of a new tenant and carry out the repairs necessary to open the pub as soon as possible this Summer. We will then work with the tenant to scope and schedule further refurbishment work probably in the quieter winter months. The existing share offer will be extended to its full term to allow more time to raise equity funds and other grants to fund future refurbishment.

How much more funding is required?

As of 6 April 2024 we need to raise a further £95k to be able to buy the pub. Of this amount, £85k is to fund VAT costs which we will be able to reclaim back later in 2024. We want to raise as much of this as possible from further member equity investments so that those monies remain available to fund future refurbishments.

What if we fail to raise the extra £95k of equity needed to buy the pub?

In these circumstances temporary funding in the form of interest free loans from members of the community will be sought to try to fund the shortfall, repayable from VAT refunds later in 2024. If this fails the project will abort. In addition, any shortfall in equity funds raised will mean there are less funds available for future refurbishments and they will be delayed.

The pub

 If we buy the pub when will it reopen?

The pub will remain closed while we carry out essential repairs and improvements. During this period we will also start recruiting to find a new tenant. The chosen tenant will decide when they reopen the pub. We hope this will be the second half of 2024.

What happens if we don’t buy the pub?

Admiral has taken the strategic decision to sell the freehold of the pub. They have said they will sell it to the highest acceptable bidder. This could be either a pub operator or a residential developer. The future of the pub will be decided by the new owner. Admiral have received no offers from a pub operator since it was put on the market in February 2023. The longer the pub trades below its fair maintainable trade, or remains closed, the more ammunition a speculative developer may have to apply for a “change in use” to develop the site.

What are the terms of the grant from the Community Ownership Fund?

We will only know these once we receive a successful grant offer. We expect that any grant offer would be contingent on completing the purchase of the pub. It is also likely to be repayable if the pub is sold by EHCBS within a set period of time.

What if the business fails?

If, despite all the best efforts of any tenants and EHCBS, it is not possible to run a viable pub then the decision for what else is done with the site will rest with the members of the EHCBS. Alternative uses that would benefit the community could be considered. Otherwise the freehold site could be sold. Any proceeds received would first repay outstanding obligations and refundable grants and then repay members share capital. Any excess proceeds after that cannot be distributed to members due to the “asset lock” contained in our rules. Instead that excess would be retained by EHCBS and could be used for other projects that benefit the community.

Am I personally liable if the Society fails?

The Society is a limited liability entity. This means that the most a Member can lose is the amount originally invested. Members would not be liable for any activities of the tenant.

How will my personal data be shared?

The Society adheres to the principles of the Data Protection Act, even though it is exempt from registration with the Information Commissioner as a not-for-profit organisation, and will use and process personal data only for the purposes of the Society. We will keep personal information that we hold secure and up to date and will only use it for the purposes for which it was gathered, and not keep it longer than necessary.

Personal data will be used solely for the purpose of maintaining a register of members and potential members as required by the rules of the Society, and for communication about members’ meetings and AGMs. Members need to opt-in to receive information about new share issues, pub events etc.

We will not share any members’ personal information (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc) with third parties. Members’ financial information, such as amounts invested, and interest paid will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared within the Management Committee as necessary for managing the Society.

Why will the Waldegrave Arms be successful in increasing its turnover beyond the lower levels it has traded at in the last few years since Covid?

The current building has not been maintained properly and is in poor condition. This project will fund essential repairs making it more attractive to customers. 

Improving the tenant’s accommodation upstairs will help to attract a tenant who wishes to move permanently into our community. This will increase their flexibility to devote time and effort into promoting their business.

The village survey identified significant latent demand from people who have used the pub more in the past but are doing so less now. We anticipate this project will recover that trade. 

The vision of EHCBS is to encourage the tenant to cater for more diverse groups in the community which will increase footfall throughout the week. For instance elderly luncheon clubs, parent/toddler coffee mornings, early family-friendly happy hours, self-employed business hub. 

It is hoped that the extra press coverage arising from the share offer and the community buying their local pub will boost the opportunity for the tenant to market the pub more widely to attract visitors from Bristol, Bath and Wells.

It is hoped that the ‘loyalty effect’ of the wider community owning shares in their local and benefiting from increasing the turnover will encourage more frequent use.

Over time there are plans to convert the derelict stable block into letting rooms to create extra income sources and customers for the pub.

More favourable, freehouse lease terms should allow an entrepreneurial tenant to be more creative with running their business and benefit financially from their efforts.

Will a prospective tenant be put off by having so many owners?

No. There is a very clear delineation of responsibility with the shareholders electing the Management Committee and the Management Committee being responsible for appointing the tenant. The Management Committee will set the culture and strategic direction of the business but the tenant is responsible for the day-to-day running of the pub.

It is anticipated the Management Committee will have a supportive hands-off relationship with the tenant, stepping in to help organise community events and resolve problems.

I would like to join the Management Committee. How do I go about doing this?

All members are eligible to stand to join the Management Committee. Please contact the secretary to confirm your interest. You could be co-opted to fill a vacancy during the interim period leading up to the acquisition of the Waldy. Otherwise, you will become a candidate for election at the society’s first extraordinary meeting expected in 2024.

Does the Asset of Community Value mean that the Village must buy the Pub?

No an ACV simply means that Admiral cannot sell the Pub to a 3rd Party before the end of the ACV Period. After the end of the 6 month ACV period Admiral can sell the Pub to whomever they like at whatever price they like.

If we haven’t raised enough money at the end of the 6 month ACV period does this mean we have missed our opportunity to buy the Pub?

We can still buy the Pub once the ACV has expired if Admiral wishes to sell it to us.

Does the ACV guarantee that the Village gets to buy the pub?

It protects the Pub from being sold to anyone else in the six-month period and is no guarantee that we will be able to purchase the pub.

 Is there an upper limit to the amount of share funds we can raise ?

The more money we raise the more we will be able to do in terms of refurbishment or /and extensions. We have set the maximum amount to be raised from the current share offer at £550,000. This would give us a reserve of £150,000 to make a great start on capital improvements to the Waldy beyond just essential repairs. We have set a maximum because the advice received from our independent valuer is not to over-invest in the pub before establishing a sustainable level of trade. This does not stop us launching new share offers in future to raise more money if and when the time is right. If we reach our maximum for this share offer we will close the offer and applications will be honoured on a first come first served basis.

If we miss the fundraising target will we get our money back?

If we are just short: 

  1. We could extend the period of the share offer;

  2. We could access other funding streams – for example the Community Shares Booster (run by Power to Change and Co-operatives UK) which may contribute towards our target through an investment in shares that will be held by Co-ops UK on the same terms as all other investors’ shares. 

  3. We will consider a commercial Loan package (up to £80,000) to bridge any gap. However, we would prefer not to take out a loan because of the burden of repayments over seven years

If we are still short we will close the share offer and then the project will not proceed. Grants may need to be repaid and share issue monies will be returned net of any unavoidable up-front costs not covered by non-refundable grants or donations. The management committee will do everything they can to try to minimise such costs and, even in the worst case, these should amount to no more than 3% of the monies raised


Does being a member shareholder confer any privileges e.g discount drink or food?

We have not built in any such Shareholder/Member benefits at this share offer stage but will discuss scope for  such shareholder advantages when recruiting a tenant. Ultimately, the cost of any member privileges will be borne by the tenant so it will be their commercial decision whether to offer them, subject to any terms we agree in their lease.  

Can't find what you're looking for?

bottom of page