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Save the Duke campaign in Somersham has already raised £80,000 towards buying pub for community

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 September 2015

Save the Duke Share Launch, led by campaigners Sarah Caston and Lucy Batchelor-Wylam

Save the Duke Share Launch, led by campaigners Sarah Caston and Lucy Batchelor-Wylam

A campaign to raise money to relaunch a village pub as a community run enterprise has got off to a flying start.

The doors to the Duke of Marlborough, the last pub in Somersham, have been closed for nearly nine months.

But the drive to buy and re-open it by committed locals is now attracting massive support.

As part of the launch of share sales, part of the fundraising scheme, two Suffolk Punch horses with owners John Latham and Hazel Chapman led a procession through the village.

Local doctor Sarah Caston and her sister, landscape architect Lucy Batchelor-Wylam, are leading the campaign to re-open the Duke.

“Anyone who would like to become part-owner of a beautiful rural pub is more than welcome to invest,” said Ms Caston.

“We’re getting pledges from people who live all over Suffolk, but also a few from much further afield – Kent, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, London, Surrey and even Switzerland.

“The money is coming from people who believe pubs play a vital role in the community and that 500 years of hospitality from the Duke shouldn’t come to an end.”

Shares are on sale via Crowdfunder UK and over £80,000 has already been pledged.

“This is a great start,” Ms Caston added. “We’ve had a fantastic response, with people investing anything from £250 to thousands of pounds.

“There’s still some way to go to reach our target of over £315,000 – but it can be done; we just need all the support we can get.”

Those interested in investing can find the prospectus and business plan online at www.savetheduke.net and can visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk to pledge.

For more information email marlboroughsomersham@gmail.com.

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