The aim of this page is to bring together the answers to some key questions which you may have before investing in or making a donation to the ‘Save The Swan’ campaign. Much of the information here may already be on our website, or in emails, but this is intended help you with the decision process.
Questions have been grouped into sections to make it easier for you to find information. If you have any questions which are not covered here, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are the current directors / board of The Swan Clewer Community Interest Company?
Willie Calvert of Windsor & Eton Brewery and Richard Allen of The Green Room School in Windsor are the current directors of SCCIC. There are options available, given the right circumstances and level of investment, for additional directors to be appointed.
Are you a registered charity?
No. The Community Interest Company is a legal form for enterprises which aim to benefit the community or trade with a social purpose rather than just to make a profit. So SCCIC will operate as a limited company but with restrictions, such as over what it can do with any profits, to safeguard that community interest. However, The Green Room is a registered charity, so charitable donations may be made to the project via them.
How does SCCIC plan to communicate with shareholders / investors on an ongoing basis?
Once The Swan has been purchased and running, SCCIC will hold general meetings, at least annually, for all shareholders. It has also set up a volunteer PR & Fundraising Group to keep you updated and informed on our progress during the purchase and initial refurbishment. To join our mailing list, email email@example.com
Will the directors be taking a salary during the initial phases?
The directors will take no salary until the Swan is trading profitably. Depending on their ongoing time commitment they could then do so, consistent with Community Interest Company regulations.
Do the directors have any thoughts on a future exit strategy – or on how long-term their investment might be?
Both directors regard SCCIC as a long-term partner to their current businesses so currently have no plan to exit within 10 years.
Do you have a business plan and can this be shared with investors / donors?
Our original business plan for the Swan, which assumed a private limited company leasing the site, has been gradually revised as circumstances have changed. When purchase of the freehold is confirmed we’ll share our business plan consistent with the business structure and financial resources at our disposal at that point.
If you do not get any £10K investors who are interested on being on the community investors board, will the threshold be changed?
We already have a number of £10k investors so there will be no change to the threshold.
I cannot afford to invest £10K, but I would be interested on being on the investors board as a community representative. Will there be any options for that, such as elected members?
When will I get my share certificate?
Share certificates will be distributed by end of March at the very latest.
How many shares will I get?
Each share is worth £1,000. So a £4,000 contribution will purchase 4 shares. Contributions of less than £1,000 will loans, to be repaid at twice their value in goods and services from the pub when funds allow. Contributions of intermediate amounts will be split between shares and loan eg an investment of £2,800 will be treated as 2 shares and an £800 loan.
If I loan over £100, when will I be able to claim my beer/services?
Loans will be repaid in twice their value over the bar when affordable by SCCIC. This is envisaged to be between 1-2 years.
If I make a charitable donation via The Green Room, can I be sure it will be used for The Swan?
Yes. The Green Room are holding all charitable donation made to them in relation to The Swan in a special, restricted account for use in support of The Swan. All of these donations are included in the total amount raised to date, as shown on our barrel totaliser shown on the website and via social media. If anyone is interested in making a charitable donation – and possibly taking advantage of corporation tax relief, please feel free to contact us and we can explain how to do this. Remember if you are a UK tax payer, this donation can also benefit from Gift Aid.
Are A and B Class shares worth the same?
There will be two types of shares, each bearing the same rights to dividends and general meeting attendance. A-shares will be voting shares available to business investors who must (as individuals or on behalf of their businesses) invest at least £100,000 in shares, a further £25,000 as an interest-free loan, provide a further personal guarantee, and manage a revenue stream for SCCIC. Due to their involvement in SCCIC they may not benefit from SITR.B-shares will be non-voting and available in £1,000 units. Dependent on personal circumstances investors can take advantage of SITR. Those investing at least £10,000 may join an Investors Panel which is planned to play a real role in ongoing governance of SCCIC.
Will I be able to sell my shares at a later date / take my money back out of the business if I need it?
Shares in the Swan Clewer CIC will be transferable. However we haven’t yet investigated how they might be bought and sold.
If the pub is not successful, will donors/investors be liable for any costs?
If the purchase is not successful the directors will personally bear all third party costs incurred in order to return all community share capital and loans received. If the freehold is purchased but the business later fails then all shareholders risk losing their share value. However impact on community shareholders will be mitigated by SITR. The directors won’t receive this protection and have made an additional personal guarantee in order to meet the terms and conditions of the bank mortgage.
If the pub is not successful will I get my money back?
How long do you expect it to take for the pub to become profitable?
It is planned that the pub will start to trade profitably soon after start-up but that the funds that this generates will be re-invested in site refurbishment for at least 5 years – until we have a place that we’re proud of. At that point we’ll start to pay shareholders a dividend. The biggest factor in timing of this is how popular the pub is and hence how well it trades.
Can the directors decide to sell the company at any time in the future?
Like any shareholder they can sell if their shares if they can find a willing buyer, but both directors’ motivation is to align their current businesses to the long term interests of the community and, as the CIC structure prohibits shareholders benefiting from sale of assets, there is no obvious financial incentive for them to do so.
What will happen if the directors decide to sell the company in the future? Will I get my investment back – and any other returns?
See above – we haven’t investigated this yet.
When do you expect the pub to be open?
We are aiming for St. George's day but depends upon the amount of refurbishment required.
What will be included in phase one of the refurbishment?
Initial refurbishment is the minimum required to open the pub and enable the Green Room School to operate – safely and legally. It covers the bar, the toilets and the main hall.
What will be included in further phases of the refurbishment?
Further refurbishment will include catering and accommodation as well as the outbuildings to provide premises for further activities.
How will phase two be funded?
Refurbishment will be funded through trading profits and further fund-raising.
Do you need volunteers to help with refurbishment work?
Yes! We will need volunteers for all kinds of work if/when we get the keys to the door. This will require significant planning and organisation, but we will be sending out calls for skilled and unskilled volunteers when we need them. Please join our Facebook and Twitter groups to make sure you hear about this first.
I've volunteered but haven't heard yet
Further information can be found on the Volunteers page.
Will the pub be child / dog friendly?
Yes! We aim to be an inclusive venue for all sections of our community. However, we will need to abide by all relevant laws in relation to children and animals on licenced premises, serving food. It is therefore possible that there will be an evening cut off time for children to be in the pub.
Will the pub only sell Windsor & Eton Brewery beers, or will other options be available?
Willie Calvert, through the pub manager, will be responsible for ensuring a popular range of products for the pub. This will inlcude, but not limited to, produce from the Windsor & Eton Brewery
You describe the pub as cycle friendly – what does that mean in practice?
The pub is ideally placed to welcome cyclists for rest stops and overnight stays as it is located on two national cycle routes. We have not finalised all plans yet, but suggestions so far include safe overnight storage options for those staying at the bed and breakfast, an area suitable for cyclists to ‘park’ their bikes whilst taking a well-earned break at the pub and a small ‘shop’ to provide essential equipment such as spare inner tubes and tools. We are open to ideas though, so if there is anything that the cycling community feel we could do to help them we are more than happy to consider it.
Will there be parking onsite, as this is very difficult in the Mill Lane area?
It is recognised that Mill Lane is a residential area with limited parking options and unfortunately there is no free space in which to ‘create’ a car park. Whilst there is a courtyard associated with the pub, our intention is to turn this into an attractive beer garden and location for events such as craft markets, fairs and other activities of interest to the community.
How will The Green Room School be involved with The Swan?
The Green Room is developing a graduate programme for their older students in order to help them transition from the school environment to the world of work via training courses, work experiences and employment in a safe environment. Therefore, interested and able students may work in the kitchen, bed and breakfast, café, restaurant or other suitable areas of the business. This social enterprise aspect of the business, aiming to give young people with additional needs an opportunity to progress in life is essential to the philosophy and ethos of The Swan Clewer Community Interest Company.
I am not receiving the emails, why?
There are a number of things to try:
regularly check your spam or trash,
in GMail, check the "promotions" category (this recently changed),
help your mail client learn to put these emails into "inbox" or "primary",
or even turn off "promotions" in the Gmail settings,
have you mistakingly "archived" it by mistake?,
look to see if it has been grouped into a "conversation" of similar emails,
if using a company email, you may get blocked; use a private email address instead,
add firstname.lastname@example.org into your contacts,
add the domain @theswanwindsor.co.uk as an exception, and
check other email accounts / addresses too.
If you do continue to have problems, then please email us at email@example.com. Using our experience, we will try our best to help you as much as possible.