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Callum Macaskill

The Black Buoy, Wivenhoe, Essex

Calum shared the story of how his community rescued their beloved Essex pub from ruin and how a BII membership has been invaluable throughout the journey...

Keeping Community Spirit Alive

Over 300 years old, and hiding an 18th century smugglers tunnel, The Black Buoy pub has long been an interesting fixture in the riverside town of Wivenhoe.

In recent times, the traditional Essex inn was faced with the threat of closure, but in 2013 was rescued by a group of residents who banded together to refurbish and re-launch the historical establishment as a free house.

One member of the group, Calum Macaskill, explains that while the team may have had all they needed by way of community spirit and enthusiasm – a little extra guidance and support was needed when it came to the logistics of running a pub;

“We opened the pub in 2013, and the first reason we got involved in the BII was because we didn’t know anything about anything. We were very aware of the depth of our ignorance.”

The employee advice available to BII members was a major incentive for Calum and the team at The Black Buoy to join the BII; “I was looking into employee rights and things like that in regards to casual staff and found the HR service helpline useful.”

With no question too big or too small, the BII offer an unlimited 24/7 HR, legal, licensing, ratings and insurance helplines run by industry experts. They also provide a standard contract of employment builder with the most up to date employment policies, leaving space for you to simply fill-in-the-gaps.

These tools only skim the surface of how members like Calum have benefitted from the BII, with advice, events and awards, mentoring, discounted products/services and more available all year round – to both those experienced and new in the trade.


“We joined the BII when we started the project in Nov 2013 and have sort their advice ever since. Particularly useful was the insurance service which got us a great quote for public liability.”

“Whenever I’m a bit stumped I normally use the BII as the first port of call, ring up or drop an email to find out about this, that and the next… Signposting to people that can help is exactly what the BII do for us.”

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