Star Wars actor backs Redgrave villagers' plans to bring pub into community ownership
PUBLISHED: 23:50 02 September 2017 | UPDATED: 23:50 02 September 2017
Villagers in Redgrave in Suffolk have until October 25 to raise £300,000 to buy their village pub - and have had a helping hand from one of Darth Vader's henchmen.
When the owner of the Cross Keys, a grade II listed 16th century pub on the village green, said they were planning to sell the business, a community steering group was set up to ask villagers whether they would be interested in buying it.
A survey was sent to every home in Redgrave, with residents overwhelmingly backing plans to purchase the pub.
Having set up a legal entity, the newly formed Redgrave Community Society Ltd, to lead the campaign, a share offer preview event was held at All Saints Church to set out the vision of the community pub and to work out how the money would be raised.
So far villagers have raised more than £30,000 towards the £300,000 target.
A ‘pubometer’ has been erected on the village green in front of the pub to let villagers know how close they are getting towards their goal.
Volunteers have since delivered Share Offer brochures to all homes in Redgrave, Rickinghall, Botesdale and Hinderclay, including resident George Roubicek, an actor best known for his role as Commander Praji in the original 19677 Star Wars film, who has been going door to door delivering brochures.
Fiona Kenworthy, a member of Redgrave Community Society Ltd, said they would like to make the Cross Keys a community hub as well as bringing back wholesome pub grub back to the establishment.
“The pub is in the heart of the village right on the triangular village green,” she said.
“We did the survey and what we want is to try and reflect what people in the community want, more than anything they wanted to have meals there again.
“That is going to be our priority.
“We also want to have complimentary wi-fi
“We would like to offer support to people who may be young in years but new to computers - those in that generation that missed out.”
She said they would also like to set up a parcel collection and delivery point at the pub.
If you are interested in supporting the venture, see www.redgravecommunitysociety.com for more information.