The Green Man pub in Toppesfield had been on the market for a number of years but the freehold has now been purchased by new company Toppesfield Community Pub Ltd (TCP Ltd).
More than 150 residents and friends have bought shares in TCP Ltd, with the purchase of the Green Man representing the second successful community initiative undertaken by Toppesfield residents after they built their own village shop and post office in 2002.
The final purchase price for the pub was £245,000 with additional finance secured through a mortgage and a substantial donation from a local charity.
TCP Ltd was advised by the Plunkett Foundation, the national organisation supporting rural community enterprises; Triodos Bank provided the commercial mortgage, and local solicitors Holmes & Hills LLP carried out the legal work.
Chair of the TCP committee, Alan Collard, said: “This is an incredible achievement. To secure the pub’s future, when so many pubs around our way are closing down, is a fantastic boost for the community. The support and encouragement has been overwhelming and people have voted with their wallets to preserve our local. Christmas certainly has come early and we’ll be raising a glass to each other to celebrate.”
Peter Couchman, chief executive of the Plunkett Foundation, said: “We’re delighted for the community of Toppesfield and their incredible achievement of not only saving their village shop, but now their local pub. An estimated four rural pubs close every week, but community ownership is a viable and successful solution to this problem thanks to its widespread engagement of the whole community, who feel empowered to ensure the business is a success.”
Mark Ogden, relationship manager at Triodos Bank added: “Toppesfield residents have demonstrated how much can be achieved when a community comes together to pool its time, energy and resources. Particularly in the current economic climate, community ownership has huge potential to put land, power and profits back into the hands of the people. The Green Man is a major social asset for Toppesfield and putting the pub into public ownership will help protect the community’s lifeblood into the future.”