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People power saves pubs

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The Fox & Hounds, a pub saved by its locals

LIFE is never easy for people trying to save their local pub, if it is threatened with closure or already shut.

However, one lifeline could be the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, which has been rolled out nationally and is now able to give more legal and financial advice to communities wanting to run their own businesses.

Launched two years ago, the scheme was only available in parts of the country, but the Co-operative Group now has business advisors in place across England, Wales and Scotland.

“Many people remain unsure how to set up a co-operative enterprise and turn their ideas into reality,” said Angela Davies, the Co-operative Group’s co-operative development manager.

“Very often in rural areas, the pub is the last one to go and now we’re seeing many communities making a stand.”

One community in Cumbria has setup a community co-operative and invited people to take a stake in their village pub to help them to save their local.

The villagers in Crosby Ravensworth, with help from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, have launched enterprising plans to buy, renovate and re-open the Butchers Arms, a pub that closed last year.

One of the six directors of the co-operative David Graham said: “Re-opening the pub will put the heart back into our village, we have had an incredible amount of interest so far, people backing our plans and investing between £250 and £20,000 to become members and have a say in the running of the pub.

And a determined community group raised the money to save at the Fox and Hounds Inn in Ennerdale Bridge in Cumbria.

Shut just before Christmas a small group of villagers have now taken over the lease of the pub. The project Coordinator Peter Maher said people “gave their money to save their local pub, and this represents a significant proportion of this small local community”.

The pub will sell stamps and postcards, provide cash back, sell local produce and become a Wi-Fi Hotspot so that people will be able to access the internet and their e-mails whilst drinking a pint.

 

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Written by timhampson

August 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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