Par Track Ltd: Registered with the Financial Conduct Authority via the Mutuals Public Register
For those who have been following our new Par running track Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/partrackltd), this is the promised introductory note about the organisation we are setting up to run the facility. It gives a brief outline. If you would like to know more, please get in touch.
There are many different company structures that communities can use to manage their assets. The one we have chosen for Par running track is called a charitable community benefit society.
We have chosen this because we believe that it is the best way to enable the community to be fully involved in the operation of the track, and in the major decisions that will have to be taken, but also because it ensures that the assets will be protected for the community.
The society will be run by an initial Board of Founding Directors (details of the initial Board members will follow soon) drawn from members of the group that have been involved in this initiative for the past two years. The directors have to operate within a set of detailed rules approved by the Financial Conduct Authority.
One of the other reasons we chose this model is that it will enable us to raise money through a public ‘share offer’, ie to ensure that the community have a chance to demonstrate support for what the society does Before long the society will therefore be offering members of the community the opportunity to buy shares in it.
But these are not like shares in commercial businesses. For a start, no matter how much you invest, you will still only have one vote at Annual General Meetings. This means that even with a small investment your voice will be as loud as that of someone with a larger investment. And the same is true for businesses or other organisations who may want to show their support for our track by investing in shares: no matter how many much they invest they will have only one vote at the meetings
Another way in which the shares in our society will differ from those of other companies is that when you sell them you will get back only the money you put in: shares will not appreciate in value, because they can only be sold back to the society. So they should be seen less as an investment with a financial return, and more as a way in which you can demonstrate your commitment to your community. So why would someone invest then? Because it gives you a voice in something you care about or use. It allows you to shape the future of the area. If we do a good job, and Par Track and its surrounds become financially sustainable, then we may be able to pay you some interest: but your decision about investing ought not to be taken on the assumption that we will.
Although this might sound a bit complicated, we’re in good company, there are some great examples of similar societies all over the country and locally – FC United, Hastings Pier and Penzance Lido to name but a few. Before we invite you to invest we will of course be providing a good deal more information. This will appear either in a similar form to this initial brief note, or in other ways – including meetings where we can explain in much more detail.
This is really just intended to whet your appetite.
We are looking forward to working with the community to make the park and the community around it an even better place to live, work and play, so please watch this space for more updates and feel free to message us.