Bentley: Enterprising villagers rallying round in bid to save The Case is Altered pub
- Credit: Archant
A campaign launched by villagers to buy their pub and run it as a community enterprise has been met with a positive response.
The Case Is Altered in Bentley has been empty since March and has been put on the market for £240,000 by owner Punch Taverns.
Questionnaires were sent to every household in Bentley with more than 200 of the 350 sent out returned to the working party trying to save the pub.
More than 125 people attended a public meeting last week where the questionnaire results revealed the majority of villagers felt it was important to keep the pub as a village amenity while 46 people initially came forward offering to buy shares in the pub.
Those attending included representatives from the Campaign for Real Ale, county councillor Gordon Jones, district councillor Mike Bamford and parish councillors.
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Bentley Parish Council has also given the group financial support to get the campaign started.
David Westley, who set up the working group to save the pub, said: “We are overwhelmed by the level of support for our plans shown at our meeting. This, along with the results of our survey, clearly show that the people of Bentley want The Case Is Altered to continue as a pub, and a focal point for the whole community.
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“We are grateful to everyone who has offered help and supported this campaign.
“It is only with this community backing that we can now take the next steps to get the pub running again exactly how the community wants it.”
Mr Westley said the campaign has had a range of professional services offered to get it up and running, such as financial and legal advice, pub management and building expertise, marketing and decorating services.
The working group is also receiving mentoring from The Green Man pub in Toppesfield which is run by the community.
Mr Westley said the next move is to get the pub categorised as an Asset of Community Value to enable there to be a moratorium on the pub, meaning that Punch Taverns cannot sell it to anyone for six months and to give the community the chance to raise the money and buy it.
Anyone wanting to get involved should visit www.thecasepubbentley.co.uk.