Community effort has six weeks to save its pub

 

Northamptonshire villagers have grouped together to save their local. The 19th-century Fox and Hounds pub in Charwelton near Daventry will be shut down by property developers unless locals can raise the cash to buy it in the next six weeks.

A company bought the pub last month with plans to redevelop it, but the move brought the village community together in a bid to save the historic boozer.

Residents formed the Charwelton Community Pub and Shop Co-operative and have launched a community share offer with support from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub to raise the £147,000 needed to purchase the freehold of the pub.

Co-operative member Daniel Elkins said: "It is incredible to see how a community has come together to back this venture. More than £80,000 has already been pledged but this is a one-time opportunity to save a vital, community asset – and now really is the time for action!"

"A well-run pub can put the heart back into the community. We aim to sell local ales and foods and be a focus for community events, celebrations, social and cultural activities. We will even explore operating a village shop in time. We want to encourage the widest possible membership who will be able to say that they saved and co-own the Fox and Hounds."

There has been an increase of almost 25 per cent in UK co-operative enterprises since 2009, said Michael Fairclough of the Co-op: "Determined communities demonstrate how co-operation can be key to safeguarding much-loved local assets.

"People can become powerful catalysts for change capable of overcoming many of the challenges facing society," he added.

Shares in the Fox and Hounds offer cost from £500 and organisers aim to pay a return of around 3.5 per cent. For details go to charwelton.org.uk or telephone 01327 260213.

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