Plea for more pledges as work continues to bring back fire-hit pub

An artist’s Sketch of the restored pub

An artist’s Sketch of the restored pub - Credit: Alix Slater Consultancy

Supporters of a Suffolk pub which was practically burnt to the ground seven years ago, are calling for more support to help it re-open.  

The Grade II listed George Pub at Wickham Market was hit by a serious fire in 2013 which destroyed most of the building. 

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at The George, Wickham Market, in 2013 Picture: SU ANDERSON

The George Pub was badly damaged in 2013 - Credit: Archant

Three years ago, the pub was bought by a local group which have been dedicated to bringing it back into use with new community space set to be integrated into the new building as well as restaurant space.  

Work on the plans for the site has continued throughout the pandemic with full plans for the site having been unveiled for the first time in October.   

With plans confirmed, work has once again turned to funding the project.  

In 2019, The George Pub committee won £82,000 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help work continue on the site. 

Fundraising to provide more funding for The George Community Pub is continuing 

Fundraising to provide more funding for The George Community Pub is continuing - Credit: The George Community Pub

Now, however, they are looking for more pledges to help demonstrate interest in the site as they put together a second-round bid look to secure a further £1million of earmarked funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

Those behind the project say that further pledges will help to demonstrate that there is a continued high level of support for the project as well as helping to continue funding the pub’s refurbishment which is set to cost more than the money which could be obtained through lottery funding.  

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Bill Wolff-Evans, chairman of the committee behind the pub, said: “With everyone’s support, we will save the last remaining pub for the benefit of generations to come.  

"Pubs are an amazing asset for any community. The George will be a warm and welcoming place to meet with friends and family and will bring inclusion and wellbeing to the whole community.  

"The world is in a pandemic but better days are on the horizon. Wickham Market needs a pub - please make a pledge to save the George. Just go online to pledge, every pledge is a vital ingredient to making this happen." 

If the funding is secured, it is hoped that the George pub will finally be able to re-open its doors to customers in 2023, marking ten years since the fire took place . 

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