Crowdfunding helps save Kent pub

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Many drinkers dream of owning their own pub. For just £100, part of that dream can come true.

The 15th-Century Chequer Inn in Ash, Kent was saved from being converted into residential property by the Chequer Inn Ash Society. The society is appealing to people to buy shares for £100 each in order to raise the money to purchase the pub, reported in March 2017.

Share sales are not restricted to the area where the pub is situated, and in fact anyone can participate.

The Society needs to raise £430,000 to buy the building and to cover refurbishment and startup costs. If all the money is not raised from the £100 shares, the Society will apply for a commercial mortgage to raise the remainder. Each shareholder will become a member of the Chequer Inn Society Ltd and have equal voting rights no matter how many shares they hold. It is not clear whether any dividend will be paid to shareholders in the future.

For people wanting to own a whole pub rather than just a small part of the Chequer Inn, there are many for sale and these can be financed using a commercial mortgage. Though there have been many pub closures over the last few years, a May 2015 study by Zurich’s SME Risk Index found that turnover in pubs actually rose in the three previous years. This could indicate that there is resurgence in the pub industry, and drive, energy, creativity and good business skills can make buying a pub a profitable investment.

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