Community rallies to purchase pub

Village residents have secured more than £100,000 in three weeks as they prepare to buy their much-loved local in the Peak District.

Bamford Community Society needs to raise £320,000 to buy the Anglers Rest and create a community hub which, in addition to preserving the pub, will house a post office, cafe, accommodation and parking for villagers and tourists.

So far 100 people have come forward to co-own the pub, pledging £114,500, after the society launched a community share offer with  support from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub.

All backers will become members of the community benefit society set up to safeguard the facility.

Liz Marshall, a member of the Bamford Community Society steering group, said: “We are delighted with the response and support that we have received so far.

“Many rural services have come under pressure and, one way for them to survive and prosper is through community ownership. We believe our plans will provide a sustainable future for our amenities while creating a focal point for village life that can regenerate the local economy and enhance community cohesion.”

The pub, about 13 miles east of Sheffield, is currently for sale on the open market. Shares in Bamford Community Society cost from £250 up to a maximum investment of £20,000. The share sale must raise at least £180,000 to be deemed successful.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s head of community and Co-operative investment, said: “Co-operation can be key to safeguarding much-loved local assets and, this example illustrates how by working together, communities can be a powerful catalyst for change capable of overcoming many of the challenges facing today’s society, environment and economy.”

There has been a near 25% increase in UK co-operative enterprises since 2009 and The Co-operative Group has committed a further £1 million this year to developing its free Co-operative Enterprise Hub service.

It has supported the creation and growth of more than 1,500 member-owned enterprises since 2009.

For more information about plans to bring the Anglers Rest into community ownership visit http://www.bamford.coop.