Beacon Wealth Management managing director Tony Larkins has helped his village finance the rescue of its only pub.
The Royal Oak is a thatched, 18th-century pub in the Cambridgeshire village of Hail Weston, which closed in 2012.
When a buyer was found for the pub, villagers hoped it would be rescued. However, it emerged the buyer instead intended to convert it into housing.
The people of Hail Weston intervened by securing the pub as a community asset, ensuring future use of the premises could only be as a public house.
The community wanted to buy The Royal Oak together but after five years had only raised 10% of the money needed.
Larkins (pictured) therefore put together a plan for the village to buy the pub with his backing. He contributed 61% of the total figure through Beacon Wealth.
‘We set it up as a seed enterprise investment scheme,’ he said. ‘The investment is for a minimum of three years and the investors get 50% tax relief. Because of my large investment I cannot be a shareholder in the same way as them so I have done mine in the form of a secured loan on the property.
‘At a later date I can exchange my loan for shares or I can replace it with a different loan or get investors to come in.’
Larkins hopes someone will buy the pub eventually.
‘We do not necessarily want to own or run it,’ he said. ‘All we want is a pub for the village.’
The Royal Oak will be open for business in the next few weeks with an official opening just before Easter.