The Saffron Walden Community Pub Ltd (SWCP) Annual Report and Financial Statements 2017-18

The Annual Report and Financial Statements 2017-18 are available to view: HERE (or click the button below)

Please also see the latest Chairman’s Update for the latest news from the campaign.

Plans Submitted for Development of Railway Arms Pub

Chairman’s Update – Sept 2018

After several months of inactivity, Railway Arms owners Charles Wells have finally put their proposals for the pub to the planners at Uttlesford District Council. Almost 19 months since the pub closed, their plans are in the public domain and are now open to scrutiny.

The plans outline a scheme which would effectively isolate the main Railway Arms pub building from its ACV(Asset of Community Value)-recognised, and much loved, garden and from its associated local heritage listed stables, cartshed and workshop buildings.  The scheme would establish new boundaries around just the pub and the car park, the latter becoming a ‘courtyard garden’ with raised decking and a timber pergola. Structural changes to the main historic building will see original sash windows become doorways into the courtyard and on the first floor, to accommodate a reworking of the fire escape necessitated by a new toilet block.

Commenting on behalf of STRAP (Save The Railway Arms Pub), Chairman Dave Kenny  stated ‘We have to ask ourselves whether it is pure coincidence that the new toilet block extends just far enough to present a hard barrier between the pub, its store and its outside covered area, and the garden. Such a hard barrier giving onto a private yard might provide just the sort of seclusion that a developer could benefit from when considering how to put the now isolated garden to use. Rather than allow the green open space it currently provides, it would effectively become wasteland and would provide the ammunition for a future application to develop the current beer garden for housing. The cynics amongst us might note that the profit from such a venture would more than cover the costs of the current reworking and, when the same logic is applied to the fenced off historic stables, cartshed and workshop the numbers really do add up.’

‘STRAP would like you to make your own mind up and I’ll say no more now other than to point you towards the UDC website and your democratic right to comment on these proposals before the deadline of 4th October. UDC will decide the matter by 2nd November at the latest.’

The planning application can be viewed, and commented upon, on the UDC website. Just go to the following link and enter the reference UTT/18/2454/FUL.

On Sunday 30th September, STRAP will be hosting a ‘drop by session’ on Station Rd/Station St outside the Railway to examine the plans on the ground, from the street with large scale drawings to view. The event will commence at 11.00am

Notice of Annual General Meeting

NOTICE IS HEREBY given that the Annual General Meeting of Saffron Walden Community Pub Ltd [SWCP] will be held at 17:30 hrs on Saturday 27th October 2018 at Fairycroft House Audley Rd, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 3HD for the following business:

1. Apologies for absence
2. Notification of AoB
Members are requested to declare any items for later discussion under AoB
3. Notification of business interests/ self declaration
To declare any potential conflicts of interest on any matters to be discussed
4. Annual report and financial Statements
To receive the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2018

5. Future Development
To consider the Society’s future strategy and development.
6. Election of the members of the Management Committee
In accordance with the Society’s Rules, all members of the Management Committee are required to stand down.
Anybody interested in being nominated for election onto the Management Committee should advise the Secretary at before the meeting. No nominations will be accepted at the meeting.
Elections for the appointment of members onto the Management Committee will be held at the meeting.
7. Any other Business

8. Date/time of future meetings


Would you like to see Saffron Walden’s first community-owned pub?

Save The Railway Arms Pub (STRAP) is a campaign to save a great old public house in Saffron Walden and to create a community pub that locals can be proud of.

Would you like to see Saffron Walden’s first community-owned pub?

You can download Share Offer Prospectus, Our Business Plan and our Model Rules below. Please also fill in a Questionnaire to tell us what you’d like to see in the new pub. 

How much is raised so far?

So far 291 people have purchased shares and we have raised £250,000 and thus we have reached our £250,000 target!

Thank you very much for your support.

#FF0000 Raised £250,000 towards the £250,000 target.

What’s the plan?

The plan is to save The Railway Arms pub through a community buy-out and re-open it as Saffron Walden’s first Community Pub.

We are proposing that The Railway Arms pub on Station Road in the town should be brought back from the brink and kept as a pub.

The Railway was officially registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) at a district council meeting on 30th March 2017. This was a great victory in the face of strong opposition from the owners, and things have moved on massively since: we now have raised our initial target of £250,000 in share applications, which puts us on a great footing as we attempt to buy the Railway. 

Take a look at our Facebook page and Twitter feed for regular updates on the campaign.

Next Strap Event: Pop up Pub – 26th-28th October

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Save The Railway Arms Pub, Saffron Walden

What are the next steps?

£250,000 target reached – now we’re trying to buy the pub!

  • With our share issue closed and the initial target reached we are now trying to actually purchase the pub. We’ll send out news as it materialises.

You can still do any (or all) of the following to help (if you haven’t already):

  1. Join our mailing list (submit your email address above)
  2. Fill in the Community Questionnaire to give your views about what you would like to see in Saffron Walden’s first community pub
  3. Come along to our next Pop up Pub event – details to be posted on the website in due course.

We will post regular information about the proposals for funding the purchase of the pub and the initial renovation and running costs. It is estimated that approximately £400,000 will be required to get things up and running, and the majority of this money (£250,000 to date) has been raised from a community share issue. Other funding has been acquired through grants and community loans.

What is a community share issue?

Our application to establish a Community Benefit Society called The Saffron Walden Community Pub Ltd has been accepted by the Financial Conduct Authority. Anyone interested is invited to purchase shares in the society/pub which would given them a vote on all major decisions in relation to the management strategy and how the pub is eventually run.

Whether someone purchases a single share or a hundred, and invests £50 or £5,000, each member of the Community Benefit Society will have one vote only.

In addition, though the value of the shares will not increase, it is proposed that there will be an interest dividend that is paid annually to shareholders, the rate of which will be set annually. Shares may only be sold back to the society.

The share issue has been assessed by HMRC as eligibale for the Enterprise Investment Schemes which means that investors are able to claim tax relief of 30% – 50% on their investment.

The Share Prospectus and our comprehensive Business Plan have been published and are available to view (see button above).

STRAP Meeting 19 Apr 17

Get involved!

If you are interested in the STRAP campaign, please come along to the next event (details of which will be posted on our website, Twitter feed and Facebook page). We’re really excited about our recent Pup up Pub events as they have allowed us to meet regularly, share news and updates, meet new people and old friends and talk about the things that interest us and others – just like we’d do in the Railway in fact. The first three events were brilliant, and we expect future events to be better still!

If you can’t make it to the next event, submit your email address above and we’ll send you further information and news as it arises.

If you’d like to ask any questions about the campaign, or indeed if you’d like to put forward any ideas or make any suggestions, please fill in the form on our contact page.

“One of the best things you can do to help save the pub, is follow the link below and join the Community Benefit Society and buy some shares. Thank you.”

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