Your Opportunity to help your Community!
Normandy needs a shop and it also needs to place to meet with friends. The Normandy Community Shop and Cafe project was set up by local people who want to plug these gaps.
We’re not looking for you to pay at the moment, just asking whether you would be prepared to invest in the Spring of 2021.
If you’re ready to please just click on this box …
... but if you're not sure, or you just want to know more about the project and what it will mean to the village, read on ....
Investing takes the form of buying shares in the shop and cafe which you can withdraw in the future (although we do ask you to invest for three years to get the business off the ground), and for which 30% tax relief may be gained.
You can also help us by displaying our poster in your window and/or passing it on to your friends :
This is a fantastic opportunity for the village to have a real centre at Manor Fruit Farm, with the shop and cafe alongside the green spaces, playground, village hall and bowling and archery clubs. It might not be on everyone’s doorstep, but it will be our local shop and cafe.
Why it’s so special
We are able to build it to our designs, and run it for the benefit of the village as a whole, without any head office to fund. So it means we decide what it stocks, what services it provides and how any profits are used. This can be for the shop and cafe or for any other deserving community causes.
And we’ll have a place to meet up and have a coffee and a cake, many of us without the need to drive!
Most of the people working in the shop and cafe will be volunteers – we know from the survey we ran last year that there are plenty of people who would love to contribute. There will also be some opportunities for paid members of staff.
Why a ‘Community Shop’?
Community Shops are owned by the community, run by the community and for the benefit of the community. That means all profits from the business go back into the shop and cafe, with any excess profit being available to fund other community assets.
We’ve been working all along with an organisation called the Plunkett Foundation, who are experts in the field. They are guiding us through the process, and we’ve already received funding, through them, for help with setting up our Community Benefit Society, and with our business plans. They are already working with over 400 communities and quote a success rate for community shops of 94% after 5 years compared to 46% for the average small business.
To find out more visit How successful are Community Shops?
Why is this going to succeed when all the shop in Normandy closed?
Quite a few things are different about our approach and the business model behind it. As a small business and a community venture, we expect to get Small Business Rate Relief, so our rates will be zero. Being on Manor Fruit Farm (MFF) we have negotiated a very low rent for the space on the car park at MFF. Also, many of the people working in the shop and cafe will be volunteers. And, not least, there is no ‘HQ’ to be funded or expecting profits to be returned. All profits from the business go back into the community. Of course, we need to find the funds to build the shop and cafe. As this is a community project, we are already lining up grant funders to provide a significant proportion of the capital costs, so we do not expect to have any loans to service. Overall, the business case is significantly different from a traditional retail shop and cafe.
What it will cost and how we will raise funds?
We have identified the Surrey County Council’s ‘Your Fund’ as one of our main potential grant funders, who have already earmarked funds for projects like ours. As well as the grant funding, we also need contributions from all of us, the people of Normandy. We expect the total costs for the shop and cafe to run to over £300,000, but for this we will be getting an asset that we will benefit from for years to come.
Community Shares – your chance to be part of it!
We’re taking the route that’s been taken successfully by hundreds of community businesses: through the sale of Community Shares. In this way, anyone can invest in the business and become a shareholder with the ability to vote on issues affecting the business and even join the Management Committee, as we will run an AGM each year. There’s a good overview of what Community Shares are here:
What is this Pledge Scheme?
Through the Pledge Scheme, we’re coming to you now to ask whether you would be willing to invest in the business, and if so, how much. We’re not running the actual fund-raising now as we know how difficult it is to predict what the next few months are going to bring.
It’s important to remember that without YOUR support (the Management Committee have already made their pledges), the shop and cafe may not go ahead, and we’ll have missed a great opportunity.
Please pledge what you can!
So, what I’m asking now is that you pledge an amount that, all things being equal, you would be prepared to contribute to the costs of building and opening this fantastic scheme.
Please note that we do recognise that things may change and that when we get round to the share launch your circumstances may have changed – you can adjust the amount when the share issue is launched (both upwards and downwards!)
Investments take the form of £10 shares, and we ask for a minimum contribution of 10 shares, that’s £100, but please consider what you might be able to afford and what value this facility will have to you and the village as a whole now and in years to come.
Tax Relief on investments
We have applied to HMRC for our investments to be able to attract 30% tax relief and they confirmed that, providing there are no changes in legislation, and we follow our planned approach, we will be able to apply for a certificate following the share issue and that investors will then be able to claim this tax relief, providing they expect to pay at least that amount of tax.
How do you pledge? You can just click on the PLEDGE NOW box below and fill in your details in the form on the next page. Or you can complete one of the pledge forms that we will be distributing to every household in the village. You can fill in more than one form if you decide later you’d like to change your investment.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far, and I hope, if you haven’t already done so, you will support us in this venture and I look forward to meeting you in our fantastic new community shop and cafe!
Let’s work together to build a better village. Please pledge to invest in this fantastic opportunity!