Frequently asked questions
The answers to some of the questions most frequently asked about the share offer are given below.
If you have a question that is not covered here, please get in touch with the Manager via email - email@example.com or by phone - 01484 686305 - so we can answer your query.
How do I buy shares
You can apply for your shares here
What is it that The Tech actually does?
The Tech, on the surface, provides space for local activities, coworkers and other small businesses. It actually does far more than this: it is Holmfirth’s creative hub, the place to go for fun, learning, helping others, being creative and to develop your skills and business.
Why does the name Holmfirth Tech have 'Ltd' in its name?
Ltd standard for Limited. This means that the shareholders of Holmfirth Tech Ltd have limited liability as set out in our rules.
Do the Directors get paid?
No. All the Directors are volunteers and as well as giving their time and expertise, they donated in the early days to get the Tech up and running. The rules explicit forbid payments to Directors. They can of course claim expenses.
Who can buy shares?
Anyone over the age of 16 and prepared to invest a minimum of £100. You will also be asked to agree to our objects.
You can buy shares on behalf of someone under the age of 16 but an adult will need to agree to nominate the young person as their beneficiary until they reach the required age.
An organisation or business can buy shares and will be asked to nominate an individual to act as its representative.
How do I buy shares?
You can apply to buy shares either by completing the form on our web site or by filling in the paper copy of the form at the back of the share offer document. You will also need to transfer the money to pay for the shares to our bank account, at the Unity Trust Bank by BACS (account number 20422215 and sort code 60-83-01) or by a cheque, made payable to Holmfirth Tech Ltd, sent to The Manager, Holmfirth Tech Ltd, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth HD9 3AR.
If you do not receive all the shares you have applied for, because the offer has been over-subscribed, the difference will be repaid to you.
Can I still use The Tech if I don't buy shares?
Yes, of course you can. Everyone is very welcome.
Why is buying The Tech the only, right and proper way to secure its ownership?
Holmfirth Tech was one of the many technical institutes built around the country in the 1890's. Holmfirth Technical Institute was set up in 1894 as a charity and was funded by donations from local people and businesses, It also received a Government Grant. In 1909, the charity was taken over by the Charity Commissioners and in 1910 by the West Riding County Council. The Wet Riding County Council was abolished in 1974 so ownership of the building transferred to Kirklees Council and then on the incorporation of further education colleges to Huddersfield (now Kirklees) College.
FE colleges are regarded as charities. Under the Charities Act, if a charity needs to dispose of building it can no longer use, the charity is required to obtain best value for it. The Act, however, has some ambiguities and we were aware of the covenant dating back to 1894. We tested the meaning of the Act and the relevance of the covenant with the help and advice of a specialist charity lawyer, Wrigleys, and with the Charities Commission. The Charities Commission, after three public consultation exercises and our representations, concluded that Kirklees College should sell The Tech to Holmfirth Tech Ltd for an agreed, below market value price.
Buying the property was therefore the only, right and proper way we could secure and sustain The Tech’s ownership for the people of Holmfirth and the Holme Valley.
Are there any ‘members benefits’ in owning shares?
The main benefit of being part of The Tech is your ability to influence its future direction. You will be helping to preserve a building of significant historical value and strengthening our community by providing much needed facilities for local people and businesses.
What rights do I have as a member?
You will have a vote and so will be able to influence the development of The Tech.
All members have just one vote regardless of the number of shares they own.
You can stand for election as a Director.
What difference would buying a few shares make?
If lots of us buy a few shares each, together we will make a big difference.
How does the Covid lockdown affect the share offer?
Why shares – wouldn’t a donation be better?
When you buy shares you become part of The Tech. Donations are very much welcomed as The Tech may benefit from gift aid and they may also be more advantageous financially for the donor because of tax relief. But making a donation is not the same as the on-going relationship with The Tech you would get as a shareholder.
We are very keen to encourage shareholding as we want as many people as possible to share in the ownership of The Tech. This is key to securing its future as the area’s creative hub.
What does the Community Share Booster Programme's matched funding mean in practice?
Once we have raised £50,000 from community investors, the Booster Programme will match this in its entirety. In effect doubling our money. Its investment will enable us to reach our minimum of £100,000. It will continue to match every pound we then raise up to £75,000 meaning we will have reached our target of £150,000.
What happens if the offer is over-subscribed?
If we reach the £250,000 target, everyone will be allocated the number of shares they applied for up to a maximum of 2,000 shares. The Directors will then allocate shares to those who have applied for more than 2,000 shares on a pro-rata basis at our discretion.
What happens if I can’t buy shares before the deadline but want to become a member?
There will be opportunities in the future to buy shares but, at the moment, we cannot say when that will be.
Will I get any financial return?
The Directors have decided to reinvest any surplus generated from The Tech’s day to day activities on the refurbishment of the building for the duration of the business plan (i.e. until 2026. This means that no interest will be paid to shareholders. The position will be reviewed every year at the Annual General Meeting.
Will my shares increase in value?
The value of shares can go down – this is the case for any investment in shares but the value of shares in a Community Benefit Society cannot increase above their original price.
Why buy a share that isn't going to pay a dividend?
If you buy shares in The Tech you will be helping to secure its future and investing in a major resource for the town and its local people. You will also be able to influence its long term direction and know that you are making a difference. We think that being part of The Tech is worth a lot. The Directors have promised to review the decision not to pay a dividend every year and hope that share holders will agree that keeping HTL financially secure and building up reserves are priorities.
What happens to my investment if I die?
When you buy your shares you’ll be asked to say who you want to receive your shares in the event of your death.
Can I sell my shares on?
Can I buy more than one share?
The minimum number of shares you can buy is 100 i.e. an investment of £100 as every share is worth £1.
Do I have any legal responsibilities to The Tech once I have a share?
Members of Holmfirth Tech (i.e. its shareholders) agree to participate in general meetings and take an active interest in its operation, development and business. They are also expected to respect the confidentiality of its business decisions.
Members’ liability is limited to the amount of their shareholding. This is why the word ‘Limited’ is used in the Society’s legal name: Holmfirth Tech Ltd.
Will my share be public?
Our policy is to keep everyone’s personal data confidential in line with GDPR requirements. We are, however, required by law to maintain a register of members. This has to be available for inspection if so required but only particulars that have to be disclosed (i.e. those stipulated in the Act will be made available.
Can I get my money back if I need it?
The Directors have decided to invest all capital raised on refurbishing the building. Until 2026, apart from the death of a shareholder when shares may be transferred to a nominee, the withdrawal of shares will not be permitted. This decision will be reviewed annually at the Annual General Meeting.
What happens if The Tech closes down?
Our rules set out what happens if the Society is wound up or dissolved. They specify that any assets remaining “shall be transferred instead to some other charitable body or charitable bodies having objects similar to or compatible with” our objects. The assets shall not be distributed amongst the members. This is known as an asset lock and ensures that The Tech will remain in the ownership of the people of Holmfirth and the Holme Valley.
What does our Patron and major donor, Jimmy Dickinson of Longley Farm, say about The Tech and the Community Share Offer?
Watch what Jimmy has to say in this short video - click here