Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

Code of practice to help pub tenants

Category : Business

Proposals to help struggling pub tenants are unveiled by the government, including a new code of practice and a “powerful” adjudicator.

Visit link: Code of practice to help pub tenants

Post to Twitter

SPL faces £1.7m ‘TV dispute’ claim

Category : World News

The Scottish Premier League faces a £1.7m damages claim over its bid to stop a pub group screening live matches via a Polish broadcaster.

Read the original: SPL faces £1.7m ‘TV dispute’ claim

Post to Twitter

Pub Crawl Holdings Inc. (PBCWE: OTC Link/FINRA BB) | Symbol Change

Category : Stocks, World News

Fri, Mar 01, 2013 12:00 – Pub Crawl Holdings Inc. (PBCWE: OTC Link/FINRA BB) – Symbol Change – The symbol, PBCWE, is no longer a valid symbol for Pub Crawl Holdings Inc.. As of Fri, Mar 01, 2013, the new trading symbol is PBCW. You may find a complete list of symbol changes at

The rest is here: Pub Crawl Holdings Inc. (PBCWE: OTC Link/FINRA BB) | Symbol Change

Post to Twitter

Pub industry adjudicator proposed

Category : Business

The government announces plans for an independent adjudicator in the pub industry to help landlords challenge unfair practices such as high prices and rents.

The rest is here: Pub industry adjudicator proposed

Post to Twitter

Keeping it local this Christmas: the rise of the community co-op

Category : Business

A small share in a local pub, independent bookshop or green energy project could be the perfect Christmas present

If you’re looking for quirky Christmas gifts, this could be the ideal present for a real ale fan: the opportunity to become part-owner of a pub for less than the cost of a round of drinks. For as little as £10, you can buy a stake in a Brighton local.

Alternatively, if you’re hunting for a gift for a book lover, £20 is enough to buy them a share in an independent bookshop whose supporters include War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.

Meanwhile, bigger spenders looking for a potentially decent return on their cash are being invited to invest £500-plus in a scheme to install solar panels on 240 homes in the Newport area of south Wales.

These are just three of the latest community ventures looking for backers. Over the past couple of years, Guardian Money has featured a number of these “community co-operatives”, which, typically, aim to bring vital amenities back to life, secure the future of valued local businesses or generate renewable energy. We’ve written about pubs, shops, a housing co-op, a music venue … the list goes on.

These ventures are becoming increasingly common, and often there is an opportunity for people to invest in them by buying shares.

Some offer a return in the form of interest while, with others, the rewards are described as “social” rather than financial.

The pub – for £10

The Bevendean Hotel in the Moulsecoomb area of Brighton has had a troubled past – it was closed down by the police in 2010 following complaints of violence – but is now set to make a comeback after local residents revealed plans to reopen it as a community-owned enterprise.

The group of locals, which includes the vicar, formed a co-operative and has just launched a share issue with support from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub (it also backed the other two schemes highlighted here). It is looking to raise up to £200,000 to reopen the pub and establish a much-needed community facility. The minimum investment is £10, the maximum is £20,000. By buying shares you would become a co-owner of the Bevendean.

“This is an investment in our community but we would welcome investors who have always dreamt of owning their own pub. Indeed, we think it could make the perfect Christmas gift for the dad who has everything,” says Warren Carter, a member of the co-op.

Alongside the real ale and the locally sourced food, the group plans to set up a cafe, a meeting room for societies, a community kitchen and an “edible pub garden”.

The aim is to be as sustainable as possible, and it will look at eventually producing its own electricity.

However, this particular scheme isn’t about making money; the shares cannot increase in value and, at the moment, there are no plans to pay any interest, so this should be viewed as a “social investment” (you will be able to sell your stake, although not for the first five years).

The rules allow the co-op to offer interest payments if the level of trading success justified it.

The management committee includes Father John Wall, team rector at St Andrew, Moulsecoomb, who is looking forward to becoming a regular.

“I always think a real community needs a good church and a good pub,” he says. He adds that he mentioned “the Bevy” (as it’s been dubbed) to the new Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, who was very interested – and has even given him £10 to buy a share in the venture.

The share offer is open until 28 February.

The bookshop – for £20

What’s described as the only independent bookshop in mid-Devon is poised to start a new chapter following the launch of a community share issue aimed at securing its future.

So if you’re backing independent booksellers in their battle against “tax-avoiding” Amazon, here’s a chance to put your money where your mouth is.

A few months ago, a group of residents set up a co-operative called Crediton Community Bookshop to take over The Book Shop in High Street, Crediton, whose owner Jill Holden is planning to retire.

The co-op is looking to raise £44,000 to buy the business, including stock, fixtures and fittings, plus provide six months’ working capital, and has set itself a target of raising £33,000 by 28 February. Anyone over 16 can become a member by buying shares. The minimum investment is £20, the maximum is £20,000.

Ken McKechnie, one of the founder members, is hopeful they will be able to secure the shop “for the next generation of readers and writers”, adding: “Our main goal is to benefit the community by supporting local authors, promoting reading and literacy for all ages, with children’s books a speciality, and providing a meeting place and focus for reading and writing groups.”

Devon-based Morpurgo has said: “Every town needs a great bookshop. Crediton has one. Long may it continue.”

As with the pub share issue, this initiative will not make you wealthy. The offer document makes clear that the shares “can go down in value but they cannot increase in value above their original price”, and no interest will be paid. “The return on these shares must be viewed as a social dividend,” it states.

The share offer is open until 28 February.

The solar scheme – for £500

If you are looking for a green investment offering a potentially decent return – estimated at 7% a year – you may want to take a look at a solar scheme launched by a new venture called Gen Community, whose chairman, James Alexander, was a co-founder of pioneering “peer-to-peer” lending website Zopa.

Gen Community is an “industrial and provident society” that has been set up to develop and invest in low-carbon energy projects, and is aiming to raise £1m to install solar panels on 240 homes in the Newport area of south Wales. The minimum investment is £500, and the share offer runs until 31 January.

According to the share offer document, the project aims to “help alleviate fuel poverty for low-income residents through the deployment of community-owned generating capacity. This is projected to reduce annual fuel bills by around £38,000 for 240 homes, equivalent to a circa 25% annual electricity bill reduction.”

At the same time, Gen Community aims to provide its members with a 7% annual rate of return, though this is not guaranteed.

Another site worth checking out is Abundance, which describes itself as a “community finance platform” enabling people to put money into UK renewable energy schemes and receive a regular cash return.

It says anyone with family and friends concerned about the planet can treat them to “the perfect Christmas present”: their own share in a community wind turbine.

A spokesman says it is possible for people to “gift” a debenture (the financial product that secures the share in the profits made) either directly to another adult, or by designating it to a child or grandchild, with the investment becoming formally theirs at age 18. This gift can be given in amounts as small as £5, he adds.

Letters: Supermarket sweep

Category : Business

So Tesco takes on “derelict or vandalised pubs, not those which are still actively trading” (Supermarkets that swallow pubs threaten social fabric, says Camra, 20 November)? This comes as a surprise to us here in Suffolk, where the store is pushing ahead with plans to replace the Pakefield Tramway and the Ipswich Emperor with supermarkets. Neither is “derelict” or “vandalised” and far from “not actively trading”, both are popular and vibrant community pubs so valued that each has a large group campaigning against its closure and conversion.

Since neither pub apparently fits within the criteria laid out by Michael Kissman for conversion, perhaps Tesco would like to change its mind and save these vital pubs?
Tony Green
Ipswich, Suffolk

• In my local area, Tesco took over two pubs, despite fierce local opposition. Neither one was “derelict or vandalised”.
Hazel Block

Pub Crawl Holdings Inc. (PBCW: OTC Link/FINRA BB) | Symbol Change

Category : Stocks

Mon, Sep 17, 2012 12:00 – Pub Crawl Holdings Inc. (PBCW: OTC Link/FINRA BB) – Symbol Change – The symbol, PBCW, is no longer a valid symbol for Pub Crawl Holdings Inc.. As of Mon, Sep 17, 2012, the new trading symbol is PBCWD. You may find a complete list of symbol changes at

Read the original: Pub Crawl Holdings Inc. (PBCW: OTC Link/FINRA BB) | Symbol Change

Post to Twitter

Mitchells & Butlers gets new boss

Category : Business

Pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers appoints Alistair Darby, the director of a rival company, as its new chief executive.

See the rest here: Mitchells & Butlers gets new boss

Post to Twitter

Last orders for your local

Category : Business

Has your nearest pub become a Tesco Express? Protesters find themselves virtually powerless to stop supermarkets taking over

When local residents and traders found that the Bird in Hand pub in Brickhill, Bedford, would be converted into a Tesco Express, they were determined to resist. Within three weeks, an action group collected 1,500 signatures protesting against the store. Hundreds turned out for a public meeting.

Councillors were lobbied, a protest website set up, boycotts organised. The protestors found a restrictive covenant that said the site could not sell anything more than tobacco, alcohol and mineral water. A community poll in October, which drew a higher turnout than the town’s mayoral referendum, gave a thumping ‘no’. In total, 1,080 people voted against Tesco, and only 69 in favour.

But the protests fell on deaf ears, and in February the retail giant took over the Bird in Hand, its eighth store in Bedford. Despite the Brickhill protests, Tesco has now found another pub across town, the Crown, which it plans to convert into what will be its ninth Bedford store.

Tesco says the new stores bring more choice to the area, generate investment and create new jobs. But protestors disagree. “This town is being crushed by the monopoly that Tesco is developing,” said one on the Save Brickhill Shops website.

Across Britain, hundreds of pubs are being converted into Tesco Express or Sainsbury’s Local stores as supermarkets pursue a “street corner” growth strategy in the face of restrictions on out-of-town developments. Tesco has opened 1,500 Express stores already and plans hundreds more. Sainsbury’s has 400 Locals, Morrisons is trialling its M-Local stores and Waitrose is rolling out 300 Little stores. The Co-op is also planning a big expansion of its convenience store format.

The march of the retail giants has met with fierce, but almost entirely fruitless, resistance across the country. The roll-call of failed campaigns is lengthy; the Red Lion in Milford, the Black Bull in Kirklees, the Alexandra in Wigan, the Carpenter’s Arms in Cardiff, the Honeysuckle Arms in Gateshead, the Angel Inn in Caerleon near Newport, the Marsham Arms in Chelmsford … the list could run on and on.

But why are pubs targeted? Critics say a legal loophole allows them to be converted to mini-markets without planning permission, leaving councils powerless to halt the process. What’s more, as long as the floor space is no more than 280 sq metres (3,000 sq

Post to Twitter

Tesco Express beats local bidder

Category : Business

Council accused of ignoring highest offer for site that will now become a Tesco branch

In the North Hertfordshire town of Letchworth, a row has broken out after the local council quietly sold a pub freehold to a brewery chain in the knowledge the site would be sold to a supermarket, even though a local businessman offered £56,000 more to buy it. There was no consultation with local people, he says, and the nearby businesses now fear the arrival of Tesco Express will push them out of business.

Sudager Aujla, who has run the local Nisa-branded mini-supermarket in the Parade for 15 years, offered to buy the site’s freehold from North Herts District Council, he says, with the intention of keeping it as a pub as well as protecting his existing shop. But, rather than treat him as a serious bidder, he claims, the council sold the pub freehold to Greene King, which had agreed to sell it on to Tesco. A new Express store is expected to open on the site later this year.

The Pelican pub was closed in January by Greene King after it decided it was no longer viable.

The Parade, which backs on to the pub site, is typical of small clusters of shops seen across the UK. There’s a newsagent, an off-licence, a post office, a pharmacy and several other outlets alongside the Nisa store.

Even its residents wouldn’t describe it as one of the town’s most glamorous areas, and yet this forgotten area has become the latest battleground in Tesco’s expansion strategy.

“A lot of people are really angry,” says Aujla who has a 2,000 signature petition from local residents all opposed to Tesco’s arrival. “We don’t need a supermarket in this area, and I feel the whole thing has been done in an underhand way. Tesco told the local paper it will create 20 new jobs, but all it will do is to force 20 other people out of work. These businesses have been here for years.”

Siting in the back of his store this week, surrounded by CCTV cameras, he says he was at a recent meeting of Nisa members who run stores all over the country and Tesco’s takeover of pubs was the number one topic of conversation, with Bedford singled out as the worst hit town.

“Why the local council has favoured Tesco over local shops is beyond me. All the money Tesco generates will disappear out of the community. I live in this area and employ local staff. If the council are so keen on regeneration why didn’t they turn the site into flats if they didn’t want me to run it as a pub? There’s a feeling that going up against Tesco will only end one way for the small guy – and that’s badly.”

A spokeswoman for North Herts Council denied the council had favoured Tesco and said Aujla’s bid for the site was received the day after the sale had been completed.

Andy Cavanagh, the council’s head of finance, says: “We always strive to achieve best value for council taxpayers, which is based on more than purely financial considerations as we also take into account what is best for the social and economic wellbeing of the area.

“Greene King’s proposal represented the clearest opportunity to bring new employment into the area and avoid having an empty property once the pub had closed. The council is completely satisfied that all procedures were properly followed and that all interested parties had sufficient opportunity to present their position to the council.”

The local paper, the Comet, only learned that Greene King paid £54,000 less than Aujla’s offer after it submitted a freedom of information request to the council.

Meanwhile, just two miles down the road in nearby Hitchin, the same council is about to become embroiled in another Tesco row. There, local residents have just learned that an Express store is set to open in a former office block near the station. Planning permission for a retail space was granted last September, with no mention of Tesco in the paperwork. Residents only discovered the site was set to become an Express branch when work started this week. Again, they fear for the future of local businesses.