Needless to say, the company has been through a difficult time, but all the venues are now up and running again and, with the exception of one, trading profitably.
Indeed, although there will be no dividend this time, the board anticipate that they will be able to resume payments next year. A new office block, close to the Barley Twist, for 4,000 plus HMRC staff is due to open within the next 12 months, which should help boost trade, failing which, there is an early get out clause for the property.
Going forward, the company intends to concentrate on maximising value out of the existing estate, rather than any thought of acquisitions. Two special resolutions regarding a conflict of interest affecting three of the directors, including Colin Wilde (MD of Castle Rock), who recently took over as chairman, were put to the meeting and approved. These related to the fact that all three are also directors of Lady Bay Inns (a similar, crowd funded, single pub co-managed by CRB) and Castle Rock Brewery (who also manage the Beer Consortium pubs), in order to satisfy the Companies Act 2006.
The meeting concluded with a few excellent pints of Harvest Pale.
John Westlake – CMIC Committee Member