You could take part in running this community pub
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A group of Tendring villagers are selling shares in their local pub, in the hopes of buying and turning it into a community hub — here's how you can get involved.
The owners of The Manor in Great Holland announced their intention sell the premises as a home in October after having no offers after a year on the market, however the pub is the last in the village.
Resident Paul Withams has since led a group who are passionate about saving the asset and has set up a not-for profit company called the Great Holland Community Benefit Society Limited.
The 51-year-old said: "This past year has really brought into sharp focus the importance of community spirit and having a place where people can meet and share news, views and generally look out for each other.
"We have seen such places disappear over the years as peoples habits change and it was when we saw the planning request to change the use to a residential property, we realised that once the last remaining pub had gone, Great Holland was unlikely to ever have such a place again.
"With almost 300 years of history behind it, the feeling in the village was that we couldn’t just watch it go, certainly not without doing all we reasonably could to save it."
Shares have been priced at £50 each with a minimum buy in of five shares — £250 — and 10,000 shares are needed to buy the pub without taking out finance.
Since the share offer opened on Monday tens of thousands of pounds in applications have been made, however if the collective target of £500,000 in share capital isn't raised the pub will be lost.
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Mr Withams added: "We intend the pub to be a hub for the community. It has so much potential and whilst we are aware it cannot be everything to everyone, we really do hope that with the support of the surrounding community, it can certainly offer something to everyone.
"For some, that ‘something’ amounts to a place to have a relaxing fireside drink, for others it’s a meal, however our plans extend to considering wider community services including post office service, mobile bank, a room for groups to meet, venue for coffee mornings and even a mobile library."