Here you will find all our recent Newsletters and Community Leaflets
Annual Members' Meeting 2020
Our second Annual Members meeting was held on 15th September and 18 were able to tune in to the virtual event. This was not an ideal way of holding the meeting but in the circumstances it was the best we could do. To support this, the presentation used at the meeting and a recording of the event can be found here. In addition, this newsletter is to report back and in this way we hope that all shareholders are kept well informed and up to date.
Last year we were able to report on the significant renovations that had been undertaken to get the pub functioning and the appointment of Tom and Becci as our tenants. It seems a long time ago and we have to remind ourselves that we are only just about two years on from when we purchased the pub in October 2018. This year has been eventful as well with major renovations continuing with the bed and breakfast accommodation being brought back to life, with three good quality letting rooms which are proving successful for the business.
In addition, as funds continued to come in from share sales we were able to tackle a complete renewal of the windows which was an important project in tandem with the the bed and breakfast room renovations, to complete improvement of the rooms and the pub areas. The windows are all double glazed and as well as the aesthetics will reduce future maintenance and improve energy efficiency. The other major renovation was to reroof the main pub and cottage roofs. Although Covid lockdown got in the way we managed without too many dramas. As with the first phase of renovations we have used local businesses where we have needed to and again acknowledge with gratitude the considerable volunteer effort that has been made available.
When we set out we prioritised renovations accordioning to the funds we had available as shares continued to be sold. Well, here we are two years on and we have achieved completion of all the major renovations we had planned to do in our original business plan. This is a great achievement and it is pleasing to report that the original business plan has been fully funded. We set out to raise around £400,000 and we have actually raised £416,000. Originally we had anticipated £295,000 from share sales but we closed the share offer at £250,000 (with 152 shareholders) as the balance was met by other funding we have been able to secure in grants significantly from Hambleton District Council, Pub is The Hub, Power to Change and the Plunkett Foundation.
Overall we have spent on renovations pretty much in line with the original business plan. There have been some ups and downs on particular projects but this has been balanced out within the overall financial provision. In round figures something like £180,000 has been spent on renovations but we expected that when we set out!
Over the year the pub has been recognised with awards but just recently we have learnt that we are third placed by CAMRA in the North West Yorkshire pub of the year awards. This is a really great award for the pub to receive. It recognises the work that has been done to rejuvenate the pub into a go to venue together with the all important welcoming offer hosted by Tom and Becci - with good food and drink and a lively atmosphere.
We could not report without mentioning the effect of Covid-19. Your directors have met more regularly as we have kept pace with events. You will know that we had a 3 month enforced closure and took the decision to offer a three month rent free period for the pub to Tom and Becci to give reassurance and prevent potential rent arrears becoming a burden to the future success of the business once reopening was allowed. We managed this by deferring payment of the interest due on shares and deferring the capital payment on our loan. The pub reopened successfully in July and trading has been good since within the Covid secure guidelines. From what was an uncertain period financially, with grants that we have been able to secure, careful management of our budget and the normal rent payments resuming, our finances remain sound. The next phase of the reopening will be the shop so look out for details in October.
Financially our accounts have been prepared with the necessary compliance issues and with better performance than expected our finances are sound. We are in a position to pay the first interest payment but with continued uncertainty over the Covid situation we have decided to be prudent and not pay this now, but hold the provision in our accounts to pay this with next year's interest payment (should we not in the meantime have had to react quickly to, for instance, another lockdown), when we hope to be in a position again to report a good financial position.
Looking forward, having completed the major renovations we will have a period of consolidation and update the business plan. There is a balance of around £25,000 for future projects that we need to think about (eg the outdoor space) and will continue to seek external financial support where we can. The new car park will come with the commencement of the adjoining housing development and in anticipation of that we have done some fencing work at the side of the pub to tidy up this area as this will be alongside the main entrance into the car park. Unfortunately community events and the like are limited in the current circumstances but we hope that this will change over the coming months.
The six directors (Peter Simpson, John Walker, Mark Temple, Alasdair Campbell, Gerry Price and George Cornwell-Legh) remain in office with no elections due this year. However there are still vacancies on the Board and anyone who might be interested would be welcome to join us. If you are interested just get in touch.
Hopefully that covers things. Best wishes from the Directors, we look forward to seeing you in the pub and hopefully next year's AMM can be more of a social event than has been allowed this year. Cheers!
Chairman and on behalf of the directors
Summer 2019 Shareholder News
The renovation works completed to date have received positive feed back and hopefully all are enjoying the pub and the cafe as trading at the pub develops. Having had a couple of months away from the renovations since the cafe and shop opened attention is now focusing on the next phase.
Work on the upstairs accommodation to create three good quality bed and breakfast rooms is next. Work has already started with two volunteer events that has seen a big help with wall paper stripping and some other stripping out so we can get to see the structure and plan ahead for the works which will start in earnest in August. These will take two to three months to complete.
Also reflecting on works done to date some further improvements are being undertaken with the kitchen equipment to help with service which are happening now.
There are one or two items from the works done to date which are being monitored or are outstanding and these are being kept under review.
Budget wise, having had the experience of working in the pub so far and finding out much more about the construction etc the budget for the upstairs rooms has been doubled. There will also be additional expenditure in the kitchen. The good news is that with savings made on the works so far - which has a lot to do with managing the works ourselves and volunteer effort - completing the first phase of works is anticipated to be within the overall budget allocation.
With share sales still open and being bought as we move to our funding target, we have also been able to have a look at those areas of investment that were not financially possible when we bought the pub last year. One of the priorities as funds become available are the windows. The windows are in various states of disrepair, at worst rotten or have that flavour of the Green Dragon of the past which is just someway short of 'it'll do'! We now have sufficient funds and are going ahead with replacements. Replacements will deal with the disrepair issues but also enhance the energy efficiency of the building and acoustic properties (particularly for the B&B accommodation). You can look at this in detail on our Revised Capital Plan 2019 here.
As you may know the housing development on the adjoining land will be going ahead. As far as we are concerned our new car park - which is a condition of the development - is expected to be in place by the end of the year.
It seems a long time ago since we were able to open the pub for trading in December 2018 but it is only just over 6 months! This is only happening with your continued support which is appreciated. Tom and Becci are continuing to develop the pub/cafe offering as they find out what works etc and customer feedback is hugely positive.
If you have any comments or feedback on the works that are being undertaken to the building please get in touch with any of the directors or via:
We will keep you posted on developments but in the meantime enjoy the summer, enjoy the pub and cafe and keep an eye out for events and what is happening.
Spring 2019 Newsletter
Check out what's happening at the Exelby Green Dragon and our plans for the future...
December 2018 Newsletter
Read about our exciting news that we have appointed tenants and the pub is now open! Here you will find our latest Newsletter and an open letter from Tom and Becci detailing plans for Christmas and the New Year...
November 2018 Newsletter
Well, now we own a pub the hard work really begins. Read all about our plans and how you can get involved together with a very interesting Christmas gift idea...
September 2018 Newsletter
Great News! We have enough funds to complete on the purchase of the Exelby Green Dragon. There's still time to invest though. Read all about it in our September Newsletter...
August 2018 Newsletter
Lets really make a difference. Act now, our Share Offer closes soon...
July 2018 Newsletter
We are off to a cracking start. Our Share Offer closes on 31st August so please don't forget...
May 2018 Newsletter
Well we really have some news for you. Read all about it and join us at a very special village event...
March 2018 Newsletter
The waiting game! We are all ready to go but EI's bureaucratic wheels grind on very slowly. Read all about it in our latest Newsletter.
February 2018 Newsletter
Our negotiations continue and we have the opportunity to access funding to renovate the cottage attached to the pub as a community led housing project for the village.
October 2017 Newsletter
Read about our negotiations with Enterprise Inns (EI) and a new listing for the land adjoining the pub as an Asset of Community Value.
July 2017 Newsletter
Community Meeting, March 2017
A presentation to the community on our progress to date.