Shottisham: Pub pact pays dividends after profitable year
Shareholders are beginning to see a return on their investment in a village pub - little more than two years after it was saved from closure.
The Sorrel Horse, in Shottisham, near Woodbridge, was under threat until locals clubbed together to buy the freehold in August 2011.
Since then, 900 shares valued at £500 have been sold to people looking to own a piece of the pub, with each shareholder retaining no more than 5% of the total value.
The investment helped fund an extensive refurbishment at the Sorrel Horse, which has enjoyed an increase in turnover for two years running, with directors reporting a pre-tax profit of £10,921 for 2012/13.
The board has decided to give back some of the proceeds to its shareholders, who will each receive a £5 dividend payment. Tony Pinfold, company director, said: “Early on, we decided that the only way to make this work was to run it as a business with the intention of making a profit.
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“We were expecting costs in the first and second year but have also done very well in terms of sales.”
“We don’t pretend everything is perfect. Last winter was lousy - and the glum weather didn’t really pick up until May - but the spirit of the place is important.”
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Investment has included £20,000 in a new thatch roof, which will be written off over its expected useful life.
Mr Pinfold, who has been approached by other groups looking to buy their own pubs, said the Sorrel Horse’s continued success is in no small part down to its dedicated team of staff, including Jemma Ward and chef James Blowes.
The pub holds weekly events, including ‘fish and chips’ and ‘bangers and mash’ night, as well as a fortnightly quiz and monthly folk night.
Find out more about the pub at www.thesorrelhorse-shottisham.co.uk.