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'It's the heartbeat of the village' – Work on historic pub's roof is completed

PUBLISHED: 11:21 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:21 05 November 2018

Shareholders celebrate the purchase of the King's Head. The pub now has a new roof Picture: ROGER CUTHBERT

Shareholders celebrate the purchase of the King's Head. The pub now has a new roof Picture: ROGER CUTHBERT

© Roger Cuthbert

A thriving community-owned pub in Essex has completed a £35,000 project to replace the building’s dilapidated roof.

Landlords of the King's Head - Stuart and Debbie Fraser Picture: QUANTUM PRLandlords of the King's Head - Stuart and Debbie Fraser Picture: QUANTUM PR

The King’s Head in Pebmarsh, near Sudbury, reopened in October last year after villagers rallied behind a community ownership scheme to save and restore the Grade II-listed building.

After the previous owners retired in September 2016, the pub closed down and was put on the market for sale, which led to volunteers in the village taking action.

More than 400 shareholders – some from as far away as the USA and Australia – raised around £300,000 to buy the historic pub, which dates back to 1450.

But the building required urgent renovation work to its roof to protect the newly-refurbished ground floor, and bring the upper floor into use.

The work was made possible through a £20,676 grant from the Enovert Community Trust – formerly Cory Environmental Trust in Britain – and a further £15,000 investment from Pebmarsh Community Pub Limited.

The project began in July and was completed at the end of last month.

Peter Hele, chairman of Pebmarsh Community Pub Limited, said the pub is “the heartbeat of the village”.

“We are very grateful to Enovert Community Trust. Without its generous support the roof refurbishment would have been impossible and the day-to-day trading of the pub could have been put at risk from leaks or flooding,” he said.

“The King’s Head is the heartbeat of Pebmarsh and the surrounding villages, and the village is committed to supporting the pub and making this community venture a great success.

“All of the surrounding communities will benefit from the growth and security of the pub as a community asset.”

The pub is used by a wide range of community groups, including book clubs, quiz nights, and local rambling and outdoor pursuits clubs.

James Cleverly MP has also held constituency drop-in surgeries at The King’s Head, providing the community with direct access to their parliamentary representative.

Angela Haymonds, trust secretary of Enovert Community Trust, said: “The King’s Head pub forms a vital focal point for a range of community activities and the trustees were delighted to provide funding towards the replacement of the roof.”

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