The last pub in a Derbyshire village has been saved, after Admiral Taverns rescinded a sale to a developer, and has committed to selling to a community group who will run the pub as a social enterprise.
But the Bamford Community Society are urging people to continue to buy shares in the business in order to secure its long term future.
The Angler’s Rest in Bamford was registered as an Asset of Community value by the Bamford Co-operative Society (BCS), who intend to run the pub as a diversified business featuring a pub, post office, cafe, parking and bunkhouse accommodation. The pub had been through ten landlords in ten years and local people decided to launch a share offer to save the pub and run it themselves.
The group entered into an agreement in principle with Admiral to buy the pub and also agreed a price, but just as they raised the money needed the brewery exchanged contracts with a third party developer.
BCS have rallied the support of the world through social media and famous follwers and retweeters have included Brian Blessed, cricketer Tim Bresnan, writer John O’Farrell, mountain biker Steve Peat and broadcaster Tony Hawks.
Mark Bawden, member of the BCS explains, “The people of Bamford have worked for 18 months to secure the future of the pub and also to prevent the Post Office from closing, by housing it in the Angler’s Rest.
“The only issue we have now is that fundraising has been suspended for the three weeks since Admiral exchanged contracts with a third party. Although we have raised enough money to buy the pub and do the immediate work required, we are relying on a loan to make up the balance. At the moment we have £184,000 in shares, but the full cost is £320,000, so we would urge people who believe in what we are doing to put their hands in their pockets and buy a share.
“During our campaign nobody could fail to have been touched and delighted by the passion, spirit and commitment of the village community. This new venture is going to be the heart of the community and the fact that it is run by and for local people will make it a real community hub.
“The people of Bamford know the value of their community services and were willing to put time, energy and money into keeping them alive. This a real triumph for local people over big business. We also want to take the time to thank all of the pople worldwide who have offered their support and we look forward to welcoming them to the Angler’s Rest in the near future.”