If you are reading this page to find out whether you can apply for shares in The Bell then we’re happy to tell you that YES, you can, but:

  • You can apply only if you don’t already have Bell shares and
  • You can buy only 200 of our £1 shares (the minimum shareholding required for membership of our co-operative).

The Direct Route

If that’s all you need to know then:

Any questions, email us at and we’ll be pleased to help.


The Scenic Route

If you want more information before making up your mind, here’s the background to this offer.

The Bell made its first open share offer (an offer for which anyone could apply) in 2013. The offer raised an amazing £786,000 and allowed us to buy the pub. You can read more about the story of that original community buyout here. Then, for nearly 8 years we were closed to new members. It was not possible to join our co-operative society by buying shares in The Bell.

During those 8 years The Bell traded successfully and built up reserves. We paid interest on our members’ shareholdings every year from 2015 to 2019 and were under no commercial pressure to raise funds with another open share offer. That situation didn’t change even with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, by then we had lost 57 of our original 537 members through various causes, and those departing members had taken with them around £120,000 of our share capital.

Although the money wasn’t a concern, the loss of members was. The Bell is a community pub and we wanted our community, the customers, to be involved in its long-term future by becoming members of the society. We had always intended to admit new members at some stage, and in 2021 the time seemed right. We decided to raise no more than the £120K taken out by departing members, to bring our shareholder funds back to 2013’s total of £786K. The question then became how best to manage the situation so that it brought in as many new members as possible while still being fair to those original members who had supported us loyally since 2013.

The answer was to divide our £120,000 target between 2 share offers:

  • An open share offer allowing all comers to buy any number of shares between 200 and 2,000. The offer would be closed as soon as it had raised £100K and would be followed by
  •  A “new members” share offer allowing only applicants who were not already members to buy just the minimum of 200 shares required for membership of The Bell.
This offer had an initial cap of £20K.

The 2021 Open Share Offer went live on 12 th June 2021 and hit its £100K target on 17 th June.
Of the 109 applicants for shares 93 were new members. We had been optimistic about the offer’s uptake, but selling out in 5 days exceeded everyone’s expectations and was a great indicator of our community’s support for The Bell!

The New Members Share Offer went live on 17 th June 2021 and is still open. It will close if our total share capital reaches £786K, but if that happens it’s unlikely to be long before a withdrawal of someone’s share capital allows us to reopen it. If the offer is currently closed then (if we’ve managed to stay on top of things!) you should have seen a warning pop-up box when you entered this page. If you want to know how soon it’s likely to re-open – or if you want to know anything else about the offer - email us at . When you’re ready to apply for shares, download the share offer document from the list below and complete and submit the application form in accordance with the document’s instructions.

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