Changes in the way we are Registered as a Society

As a business, The Assembly Rooms of Glastonbury Ltd was originally registered (in 1991) with the Financial Conduct Authority as an “Industrial and Provident Society”. Under new legislation – The Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 – we now qualify as a “Community Benefit Society”, however because we registered before 2014, we should just be called a “Registered Society”. We have not re-registered, so we still have the same registration number, which is tied to the Constitution with which we registered and that means the original Mission Statement stands, nothing has changed apart from a label in the FCA’s filing system.

One of the obligations of registration is that we submit an annual return and accounts. At the last AGM (22nd March 2018) a vote for a resolution which would allow us to be exempt from professional auditing brought up the question of our registration with the FCA and whether we would better qualify as a “Co-operative” rather than a “Community Benefit Society”. The FCA define a Co-operative as a society which exists for the benefit of its members (i.e. pays dividends); a “Community Benefit Society” exists for the benefit of a community and is philanthropic or charitable in nature (all profits go back into the society, no dividends are paid), upon dissolution of the society its assets have to be passed on to an organisation with similar aims, it can’t just be sold off or asset stripped; the same strictures do not apply to Co-operatives.

As shareholders we are bound by the contract we consciously made with each other, the Constitution, so we are still bound to operate “as a bona fide co-operative”; the FCA are primarily interested in whether we’re making money out of the venture or not, they do not dictate our leadership structure. In order to qualify as a Co-operative we would have to change the constitution and potentially reconsider the nature of the business and the society’s aims.

Further details:

Welcome To The Assembly Rooms!

This unique venue in the heart of historic Glastonbury town boasts a Victorian acoustic Main Hall, built to Golden Mean proportions, two workshop spaces and an internet cafe with fully licensed bar.
This Community Arts Centre has a rich history that has included productions by the great British composer Rutland Boughton and being home to the first Glastonbury Rural Arts Festival which featured such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, Alice Buxton, Thomas Hardy and T.E. Lawrence.
Home to Ynys Witrin Annual Bardic Contest, Megalithomania, The Goddess Conference, regular Fabulous Furry Folk Nights, and other events. The Assembly Rooms are an ideal place for your gigs, plays, dances, drumming classes, bazaars, talks, bands, wedding receptions and more … check out the Events page for details of upcoming happenings, including gigs from Incredible String Band founder Robin Williamson on March 19th… and popular eco-folk- warriors Seize The Day on March 28th. Also the annual PANTOMIME!!  – (this year it’s Hansel & Gretel from the Shadow Of The Tor theatre company) will be on in the hall from February 12th to 16th. Irreverent, satirical of all things Glastonbury, and a Little Bit Rude – our pantomimes are not for the faint hearted and not quite traditional but always very funny – come and see for yourselves!

The Assembly Rooms’ very own alternative “Folk Club” – Fabulous Furry Folk, continues with monthly singarounds in the cafe and gigs in the main hall. Check out this excellent blog from Normal For Glastonbury for more details. Posted on July 19, 2016Edit

Lords Of The Wildwood Community Cafe

Our new cafe is looking fabulous. We now have Luke and Nix of Lords of the Wildwood managing the Community Cafe. They are making delicious home-made cakes. A new lunch menu, including jacket potatoes and pizza will be up as soon as possible. Deliveries are available for local business in walking distance of the High Street.

Come and support your community venue. Spaces are available for daytime courses and workshops, please email for more information, or if you are wanting a meeting or small gathering in the cafe during the day, pop in and discuss the options.

Here’s wishing Luke and Nix all the best on this new venture! 

The cafe is also the venue for Fabulous Furry Folk’s monthly singarounds at 8 p.m. on the 2nd Thursday of each month – bring folk songs and tunes to share, or join the circle and listen. Check out this excellent blog about FFF from Normal For Glastonbury for more details about the Assembly Rooms’ folk club, which also includes monthly gigs in the main hall. 

Users Survey

The Assembly Rooms is a vibrant community space and social hub hosting popular bands, workshops, theatre and community events. We’d like to find out what your vision is for the building, so we can improve it in ways which will make it more attractive to you as a venue, we’re interested in your opinions and suggestions, and they may help us raise funding to improve the building that directly benefit the community. If you’d like to help please complete this simple survey.