Your Questions Answered

Following on from the open meeting at Culcheth High School on the 13th October and from emails received we have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions.  If your question isn't answered here please get in touch.  You can send a message from the site or send an email to:

Please note, the share offer is now closed.  

The business plan spend assumes a certain amount of pre used equipment and items. Also hiring some equipment. We would consider buying new. We also have future phases planned which we could consider bringing forward.

Our optimum target is £243,000, this will allow renovation of the pub and kitchen, as well as set up costs and the first three months running costs. Our minimum target is £184,000, this will allow all the above, except for the kitchen. If we fall below the minimum there are grants and loans we could consider.

No, we would continue and notify, via Crowdfunder, what the extra funds would be spent on.

As you walk in, from the side entrance you will see a double sided wood burner. This will be situated between the first two ‘rooms’. We are opening up the old Georgian chimney and currently building a fireplace with reclaimed bricks, according to the Georgian brickwork style. Just to the right of the chimney in the middle of the building you will see a ‘wraparound’ three-sided bar. Hopefully built out of reclaimed brick (if we have enough). The kitchen will be where it always was, however it will be enlarged by removing an internal wall & extending into the current ‘lean to’ area, which was the boiler room. The pub will have stone flooring, underfloor heating and be dog friendly. There will be snug areas within the pub. A lot of the internal walls Will be sealed brickwork, displaying both Georgian and Tudor brickwork.

Whilst it is not finally decided, the intention is for the first floor to be office space. That would allow the owners to earn an income from their investment and to potentially subsidise the Raven, particularly in the early days.

If it does indeed become office space, yes it will be for rent. We intend to engage with those tenants by way of coffee, food etc.

We have received mixed advice on this. Some say having someone living on the premises is good for security. Some say it is better to have a good alarm system and not put a resident at risk from burglars, i.e. being forced to open the till.

As with all businesses, there will be a continuing need to reinvest in the Raven. We also intend to pay 5% interest to our shareholders, after three years. We would also be wise to hold a contingency fund.


Yes, you can nominate a person to transfer your shares to, in the event of an untimely demise.

We will be taking advantage of the local area, targeting ramblers etc and we will be dog friendly. This will give The Raven an advantage over some of the pubs close by and will not really be in direct competition. We're aiming to make the Raven a community hub.

Back in January 2019 the primary concern was to save the Raven from demolition.  There was a strong community view against having more residential units in the area.  Using the first floor as offices does not constitute to be being residential and, as previously noted, people working in the offices will use the pub facilities and help with turnover.

No, there are no legal responsibilities to being a shareholder.

We have had the pub (ground floor) independently assessed. The owners have agreed to an initial 25 year lease.

All Investors of £250 become members of the cooperative running the Raven. Whilst we envisage future promotions for all members they will be operational decisions once the Raven is up and running.

The current structural work and things like windows, roof, heating are the responsibility of the owners. We have been deliberately conservative within the business plan. We, of course, have our fantastic team of volunteers, who help offset costs, by their dedicated work. If, despite all that, we were to go over budget, we would have to consider things like delaying the kitchen refurb

The pub will be free house. We may however, engage with a brewery for bar fit out. This will depend on the deal offered and any limitations that the brewery may try to enforce on products or contract lengths.

The intention is to pay shareholders 5% interest, after three years, if finances permit. This would be an annual interest payment (when finances permit).  Worth noting is that if you claim the 50% under SEIS you will be effectively receiving 10% as the shares have, in reality, only cost 50%. 

There is a very detailed ‘Heads of Terms’ draft agreement which will deal with all such things. Don’t forget, the owners are in this because they want to save the Raven.

A pub manager will be employed along with some full and part time staff, plus we can lean on a legion of volunteers when needed

Yes. Also, we have been very conservative in the nature of our financial planning

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme(SEIS) and the Enterprise Investment Scheme(EIS) are both HMRC initiatives designed to help encourage investment in projects such as ours. We will eventually issue certificates to all shareholders seeking to claim tax relief.

The Raven is locally listed and we had it listed as an Asset of Community Value, in 2019. We tried, on more than one occasion, to have it listed with English Heritage, with no success.

We had hoped, just before Christmas, but there was more structural work required than we, at first, thought. The plan now is to open next March, to get everything up to speed for Easter, which is early April, next year. However we do intend to hold some limited events before March, particularly for our new shareholders. Both a chance to socialise in the Raven and to see for yourselves the progress being made.

The building was purchased, in order to save it from demolition, by The Raven Partnership. That is two families very local to the Raven: the Hutchinson family and the Eden family.

In August 2019 we had the Raven independently valued at £230,000. Under the terms of the moratorium, instigated by our Asset of Community Value. We made two community bids for the Raven - on the valuation of £230,000, which was rejected, Then £250,000, which was rejected. Furthermore we were told there was a number of interested developers and we would need to bid £5 - 600,000 to stand a chance.
Had our offer been accepted, the moratorium period would have allowed us the time to launch a community share offer to purchase the Raven in 2019. We tried a couple of bids after that, but were told an agreement had been reached with a developer.
We were not able to enter the fray again until March, this year, when a supporter noticed the Raven for sale, by auction. We had 15 days to react & bid. It’s a matter of regret if the ownership message has not got through to everyone. We were always very clear the Raven was purchased by two local families (known as ‘white knights’, in such circumstances).
The share prospectus refers to investing in the cooperative running the Raven, for the purposes of renovating and stocking the Raven.
However we welcome the opportunity to make the point, again. We should also remember, taking into account the cost of purchase and the cost of making the building structurally sound, we would be seeking £6 - 700,000 from this share offer. I suggest asking our community to pay up to three times what the Raven was worth three years ago would be totally unacceptable.

Yes, we will supply the appropriate certificate to all qualifying shareholders
For EIS & SEIS you can either claim relief in:
  • the tax year you make the investment
  • the tax year before you make the investment - if you choose to treat some or all of the investment as being made in a previous year
You can only claim relief against the amount of Income Tax you need to pay in the UK. You cannot carry forward unused Income Tax relief to future tax years.

Not yet. Recent contact suggests within the next two weeks.

This has yet to be agreed, however the range of possible rent has been independently assessed. The owners have indicated a rent free period, at the start & a phasing in, according to profits.

The shares will show as an asset in the company.

There is no tax to pay on the dividends received.

There is no corporation tax to pay if the company sells the shares as the shares are sold at the purchase price therefore there is no profit.

The 30/50% rebate under EIS/SEIS cannot be claimed by a company shareholder.