Apologies are due for the lateness of this update. Lots of things have been going on over the winter and with all the learning that goes with a new job, I haven't been keeping the site as up to date as I should have. To those of you who use this page to keep up with the Raasay Newsletter I apologise for not keeping it up to date. I would encourage everyone to sign up with the RDP to have the newsletter sent out to you by email. All the Raasay news, direct to your inbox. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to register for this service.
As for what's been going on, please download the last few months newsletters in pdf format here and I'll try and get the next one up on the site as usual within a few days of it's release.
RAASAY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP
COMMUNITY OF RAASAY RETAIL ASSOCIATION LTD
SHARE OFFER PROPOSAL February 2013
1. This proposal is made by the Community Of Raasay Retail Association Ltd an Industrial & Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community registered with the Financial Services Authority, registered number 2762 RS.
2. The minimum shareholding for Adult membership is five shares @ £10.00 per share. For Junior membership one share @ £10.00 per share up until the age of 16 years. On reaching their 16th birthday an additional 4 shares must be purchased by the Junior member in order for him/her to remain a member. The maximum shareholding by law is £20,000.
3. The purchase of shares will entitle a person to be a full member of the Society. Each member has one vote regardless of the size or value of their shareholding.
4. Shares are ordinary withdrawable shares and are not transferable. Shares will only be redeemed at face value by the Society in accordance with its Rules. Shares may only be withdrawn by members who have held them for a minimum period of five years or such other period as the Management Committee decides. Three months’ notice shall be required of any withdrawal, although this may be waived at the discretion of the Management Committee.
On cessation of membership for whatever reason, if a Member holds not more than ten shares, the shares shall be forfeited and cancelled, and the amount paid-up shall become the property of the Society.
All withdrawals must be funded from trading surpluses or new share capital raised from Members, and are at the discretion of the management Committee having regards to the long term interests of the Society, the need to maintain prudent reserves, and the Society’s commitment to community benefit. The Management Committee may suspend the right to withdraw either wholly or partially, and either indefinitely or for a fixed period.
5. The Management Committee has the right to write down the value of the shares if the liabilities of the Society exceed its assets. Members applying to withdraw their shares in this period would receive only the written down value of their shares.
6. In the event of the Society ceasing to trade, adult members will be paid up to a maximum of £50.00 for each £50.00 share owned once all the creditors have been paid in full. Likewise, Junior members will be paid up to a maximum of £10.00 for each share owned once all creditors have been paid in full. In the event that the co-operative cannot pay its creditors in full, members may lose some or all the value of their shares.
7. The Society aims to acquire the business of Raasay Stores, and operate as a general merchant serving the local community under the trading name of Community of Raasay Retail Association Ltd. It is the aim of the Society to maintain and expand the existing range of goods and services. In particular the business plan sets out evidence for the following:-
a) Services have been identified which appeal to the local population
The shop’s services will be primarily designed to meet the needs for both convenience and main shopping requirements including Post Office and subsidiary facilities. A survey will be conducted to ascertain what products and goods would be favoured and required to be stocked and made readily available,
b) The target audience is large enough to sustain the business activity
The majority of households with the Island of Raasay Community (average population of 150) have shown great interest and support for a community-owned shop. The business plan also indicates the potential for business from visitors and the tourist trade.
c) The service is capable of providing a social return on members’ investment
As well as providing a much needed service to the community, it is expected that the shop will, in due course, also provide one full time and one part time employment opportunities.
d) The service can be delivered as a profitable business activity
The business plan indicates that the shop can be profitable with an annual turnover level which has been achieved in the recent past. The shop would remain sustainable as long as people continue to spend within the shop, supporting local trade.
e) The capital requirement for the new business is affordable
Alongside grant funding there should be sufficient funds available from the issue of community shares to negotiate acquisition of the current business and support cash flow when trading begins.
f) There is a business case for long-term sustainability
The business plan indicates that the shop can trade profitably on a consistent and long-term basis.
8. A business plan has been prepared on analysis of the population of the area and experience of such businesses serving communities of similar sizes. The development of the business plan has been prepared by Raasay Development Partnership’s Local Development Officer which was based on financial accounts provided by the current owner of Raasay Stores.
9. The main risk factors identified by the Management Committee are:
a) That insufficient share capital / grants/ funding are raised to acquire and set up the business.
b) That there may be a trend for local residents to use the major supermarkets in Skye/mainland more often.
c) Staffing problems – A risk that we won’t get enough committed staff and volunteers in order to keep the shop open.
d) That there will be little or no support for the business from communities adjacent to Raasay itself.
10. The primary purpose of the Society is to secure the future of this service for the Community, not to make returns on capital invested. It is the responsibility of the Management group to declare any such earnings to HMRC if applicable.
11. This proposal is not regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 because the shares in the co-operative are not “securities” for the purpose of those regulations. It is therefore not authorised by the Financial Services Authority. If the business fails you have no right of complaint to the Financial Ombudsman or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
12. If you are in any doubt about your investment you should consult an Independent Financial Advisor authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
13. Due care has been taken in preparing this offer document, a process which has been overseen by the Interim Management Committee, who can vouch that the information it contains is in accordance with the facts and that there are no omissions likely to affect its import.
Raasay Community Association
A charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland. Company no. SC 269183. A recognised Scottish charity, no. SC036239