December 10 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 4, 2013
Momentum is building behind a village’s bid to purchase its only pub and develop it for community use.
The village of Stonham Aspal, near Debenham, has moved a step closer to owning The Ten Bells after it closed earlier in the year.
The committee set up to re-open the establishment wants people to come forward to raise money for its purchase by showing an intent to own a slice of the business in shares.
Tracey Hall, chairwoman of the committee, said: “We are now at the next stage where we want to put forward share proposals by the end of November to raise money to purchase the pub.
“We will review it after that and see where we go from there. If we are successful in raising the money I would like to think we would have it open around Easter.
“If people have shares then they are more likely to use it and have an interest in it.”
Shares will start from £50 with an initial fundraising target set between £250,000 and £300,000.
The committee believes a further £200,000 would be needed to carry out renovation work to the Grade II listed building.
Miss Hall, 45, added: “The idea is to make it somewhere that people will use on a regular basis. We have a village hall, church, school and pub all located close together.”
One idea put forward is to join the primary school’s playground to the pub garden to share resources.
Although currently listed as a community asset – which means the pub is protected from outside bids from other groups or companies – the committee needs to re-apply for a further six-month buffer in the coming days.
The pub has been up for sale since it was closed by the owner Punch Taverns in April.
Between 30 and 40 people attended a meeting last week over the pub’s future.
To find out more about the campaign to re-open the pub go to www.tenbells.co.uk