March 7 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, February 15, 2014
The future of a Suffolk pub hangs in the balance as villagers have less than a week to raise tens of thousands of pounds to buy it.
The community has been given an extra seven days - until Friday, February 21 - to save The Ten Bells pub in Stonham Aspal, near Stowmarket, after the deadline to find the funds was extended.
Since the pub closed last year a group has been working to get the establishment re-opened. But so far less than £100,000 has been promised in shares from a minimum total needed of at least £150,000.
Tracey Hall, the chairman of the group, said: “We are not near the £100,000 mark but we did have quite a few pledges come in this week.
“It’s hugely disappointing for us all but we do not know how many businesses have re-opened in the same situation after being closed. The ones that have succeeded have always still been open at the time - we are starting with a business that has been closed for a year.
“If the pub was on the outskirts of the village it would not be such a problem but it’s right in the middle.”
The original target to buy the pub, which has been listed on the market for £210,000, was more than £300,000.
Extra funds are needed to not only buy the pub but renovate and refurbish it.
Ideas to revamp the building as a community hub have been put forward. The pub could be also used as a village shop and for meetings.
The group has the first say on buying the pub until March 6 as it a community asset - which means it is protected from outside bids to purchase the establishment from the owners Punch Taverns.
A loan may be needed to increase the total funds available to allow the group to purchase the pub.
To find out more about the project and put money forward in shares go to www.tenbells.co.uk.
A meeting will be held in the week of March 3 when a decision will be made on the pub’s future.
In January the community in Bentley, near Ipswich, was successful in striking a deal to run the village’s Case is Altered pub, which had been on the market for almost a year.