Save the Owain Glyndŵr Hotel, Corwen.

We’re raising £500,000 for the community purchase of the Owain Glyndŵr Hotel in Corwen. 

The Campaign

Why Save the OG?

In its heyday the OG was the focal point of Corwen where many important family events such as weddings and funerals were held. Many Corwen residents met their life partners in the ‘bottom bar’ or at events held in the OG. Thus the OG is very much the ‘heart’ of Corwen, not just from its physical presence on the Town Square but in the role it has played in the lives of so many local people over the years.

The fate of many pubs like the OG is distressing. Many are bought by developers, with no local ties or interest, who attempt to convert the buildings to flats. Many end up boarded up when planning permissions are declined. Imagine the OG boarded up! What a sad blight that would be in the centre of Corwen when the town ought to be thriving as the “Gateway to Snowdonia”.

Upcoming Events at the OG

Upcoming Events at the OG

Saturday 1st July 23 -8:30pm. Tudor Wyn and Glyn Owens. £10 admission Saturday 17th July 23 8pm. Stand up Comedy Night. £10 admission. Tickets available at the OG, Hair Care Salon and via Skiddle on line ticket sales.

read more
Why Save The Owain Glyndŵr Hotel?

Why Save The Owain Glyndŵr Hotel?

In its heyday the OG was the focal point of Corwen where many important family events such as weddings and funerals were held. Many Corwen residents met their life partners in the ‘bottom bar’ or at events held in the OG. Thus the OG is very much the ‘heart’ of...

read more

ITV Coverage

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

What is a Community Benefit Society?

A community benefit society (CBS) is an organisational structure recognized by, and registered with, the Financial Conduct Authority. Its purpose is to serve the broader interests of the community through its business activity in contrast to co-operative societies that serve the interests of their members.

One share makes you a member of the CBS.

  • Each member gets 1 vote irrespective of shareholding.
  • Any Member can stand for office in the Society.
  • The principle purpose of the Society is to ensure the financial future and structural integrity of the OG.
  • Profits after operating expenses go to help community projects and initiatives.

The CBS has an Asset Lock which ensures its assets are held by the community and cannot be dispersed among shareholders (see FAQ 2).

What is an Asset Lock?

By Asset Locking the Owain Glyndŵr Community Hotel Ltd we ensure that shareholders cannot make financial advantage out of future disposal of the hotel. This makes its value to the community of paramount importance and protects the community and minor shareholders.

For example,

If the OG went up for sale in 10 years time and sold for £1 million, shareholders would only receive back their initial investment based on the shares they own at £200 each, amounting to a total of £500k based on this share target. The remaining £500k, after sale expenses, would then go to Partnerieath Community Partnership to administer on behalf of the community.

Will I receive a dividend on my shares?

A Community Benefit Society does not pay dividends on shares but is allowed to pay interest to shareholders on their investment. This is considered to be an operating expense before profits.

The Society rules state that the ’agreed rate of interest shall not exceed 5% or 2% above the base rate of the Bank of England, whichever is the greater’.

However:-

Interest payments are made at the discretion of the management committee and are not guaranteed.

It is unlikely that interest payments will be made for at least 3 years as profits in the first instance will be reinvested in improving and modernising the building.

As a shareholder will i have a say in how the OG is run?

The Interim management team will seek to employ a hotel general manager to look after day to day management of the Hotel as soon as purchase of the OG looks certain.

Within 6 months of purchase the interim management team will convene the first Annual General Meeting where the first official Management Committee of the OGCHL will be elected.

The future priorities for the OG will be discussed at the AGM and all shareholders will be invited to stand for office on the Management Committee.

We envision the new management team working closely with the general manager to ensure smooth running of the hotel and a regular events program, alongside organising and supervising the necessary restoration works.

Can I sell or cash in my shares?

You cannot sell your shares on the open market e.g. via a stockbroker, however you may be able to sell them via the Management Team to a new or existing shareholder but only at their original value of £200.

After three years you can request reimbursement for your shareholding at £200 per share from the profits or reserve funds of the Society but agreement is at the discretion of the Management Committee.

This will only be possible if funds allow and preference will be given to applications deemed to be in financial hardship or as part of an estate settlement on death. (see FAQ 6 What happens when I die?)

What happens to my shares when i die?

When you die your shareholding becomes part of your estate. Your executors can ask for reimbursement of your shares at £200 each however payment of this remains at the discretion of the Management Committee and depends upon the availability of funds.

Alternatively you can:-

  • Nominate a beneficiary for your shares when you purchase your shares (ask for additional bequest form).
  • Nominate a beneficiary at some point in the future.
  • Bequeath your shareholding, now or in the future, to the OGCHL so as to avoid future financial demands on the society (ask for additional bequest form).
Can I buy shares on behalf of others?

You can buy shares on behalf of another adult, simply put their details on the registration form and pay on their behalf.

You can also buy shares on behalf of children under 16. In the first instance you will be the registered shareholder   until they turn 16, whereupon they will become the registered shareholder.

You will need to fill in a separate registration form for each individual purchase and add the details including Date of Birth of the recipient child on the separate form.

What happens if the OG purchase does not go ahead?

Whilst we are confident that we will raise the necessary funds to purchase the OG through this share offer, contributors can be reassured that their money is safe even if the sale does not go ahead.

In that unlikely eventuality all share purchases will be refunded in full by the interim management team.

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Why don't we get grants to buy the OG instead of shares?

Grants for Community projects like this are widely available when you own the premises. We certainly intend to apply for grant monies where possible to refurbish and renovate the property and to improve access around the building hopefully by installing a lift.

So why not apply for grants to buy it?

The success of other Community pubs is strongly based upon the ongoing support of their local community and that support is founded in the sense of ownership among the local community because they all contributed to buying it. We believe that this sense of ownership is a vital component in ensuring the future of the OG. once it has been purchased ‘byrather than ‘forthe community of Corwen.

Does the OG need major restoration work?

We have identified a number of Phase 1 works that we need to do, fairly urgently, when we own the OG. As follows:-

  • Roof repairs £21,000
  • Lintel replacement £1,500
  • Replace gas boilers £20,000
  • Electrical improvements  £5,000
  • Renovate and open ‘Bottom Bar ‘ £30,000
  • Install managers accommodation £25,000
  • Kitchen overhaul £5,000

These works amount to just over £100,000 which we hope to fund from the share offer. The remaining monies from the share offer will act as contingency funds in the first instance and later be released for Phase 2 projects when profits allow. Overall the OG is more in need of modernisation rather than restoration or renovation and we hope to undertake this without losing the charm or character of the place.

Will the OG need to close for modernisation?

Having the current owner of the OG Ifor Sion on our side is a ‘major plus’ on many levels, not least because he is keen to facilitate a smooth handover, so we hope not to close at all.

The size and layout of the OG allows works to be undertaken in one area at a time without massively impacting the day to day activity of the pub. Modernisation of accommodation for example can be done floor by floor.

Reopening the bottom bar is included as a Phase 1 project in order to facilitate this area by area approach.

The managers accommodation, if required urgently, could be provided in existing bedrooms while a dedicated managers flat is created. This might impact profits in the summer months and thus it is considered a Phase 1 priority.

What are our priorities for modernisation?

While Phase 1 works are underway we will be planning Phase 2 works and searching for grants to fund them.

Our main Phase 2 priorities are:-

  • Improved access to as much of the building as possible, including a lift to the main function rooms and some bedrooms.
  • Improving the outside appearance, possibly back to the original stonework for part of the building and repair/replace windows.
  • Staged Modernisation throughout including improving the buildings CO2 footprint with better insulation and new heating systems.

Some of these objectives will be challenging given the Grade II listing. While permissions and funding are secured we hope to progress easier projects such as establishing a more congenial area for smokers and redecorating in areas such as function rooms.

Is Room 13 at the OG haunted?

If anyone asks:-       DEFINITELY! It could be very good for business!

How robust is the business model?

Of the 100+ community owned pubs around the UK only 1 has failed; due to Covid and poor management. So the business model is clearly robust as the businesses have massive support from their local shareholders .

Should the worst happen and the business failed the assets i.e. the building and contents, would be sold and the realised cash assets would be distributed as follows:-

  • Debts would be paid.
  • Shareholders would be paid back to a maximum of £200 per share. Depending upon the sale price and debts at the time of sale you may not receive all, or indeed any, of your money back.
  • If there is money left over after the above distributions, the money would pass to the Corwen Partnership to be administered on behalf of the community.

If you don’t use it you may lose it!

Are there other funding avenues?

There are many funding avenues for us to explore both nationally (Community Ownership Fund) and locally (Turbine monies). As a properly registered community organisation the OGCHL has a very good chance of getting funding if we approach funders with clear objectives and good preparation working in partnership with other organisations. Funds such as COF are match funding so raising the extra £200,000 will put us in an excellent position.

Our Partners to date:-

  • We have 2 members of the interim committee who bring a wealth of experience from their community organisation in Bootle (SafeRegen).
  • We are members of the Plunkett Foundation.
  • We have received excellent support and funding for the launch event from Corwen based Cadwyn Clwyd.
  • We have had early discussions with other key organisations in Wales including CWMPAS, WCVA and The Architectural Heritage Fund.
  • We have already had our Expression of interest accepted for a bid for £200K in future rounds of the Community Ownership Fund.

In summary we are optimistic of future success.