Residents of hamlet with less than 100 people pledge to buy their local

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

Locals argue the Hook and Hatchet can be a success
Locals argue the Hook and Hatchet can be a success

Related tags: Pub

Residents of a Kent hamlet, home to less than 100 people, have pledged to raise the £450,000 needed to buy their local pub.

Hucking residents have banded together to try to buy the Hook & Hatchet after it was put on the market earlier this year by Shepherd Neame.

The Kent-based brewer and pubco said the pub was closed because it proved “unviable” as a tenancy.

However, campaigner and local Samantha Mabb made a case for the pub’s survival, telling the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​: “The pub is in a difficult position because it doesn’t get much passing trade. Having said that, it’s set in 600 acres of attractive woodland, which can be a draw in itself.

“We’ve had three meetings so far and although there’s not many of us, the feeling is very positive. We feel confident the site can work as a pub given the success of other destination pubs within the area. It just needs the right management and more flexibility than a brewery can offer. I am
creating a business plan and investigating any grants that might be open to us.”

More than £165,000 has been pledged and Mabb has approached community co-operative charity the Plunkett Foundation for advice.

Shepherd Neame emphasised that the decision to sell the Hook & Hatchet was not taken lightly.

Property and services director George Barnes said: “The Hook & Hatchet is an excellent pub but it has not proven viable under our tenanted model. We never make these decisions lightly and it was closed after careful consideration. We wish the village action group well and hope that the pub is a great success as a community project if they are able to purchase it.”

The pub has been listed as an asset of community value, meaning Shepherd Neame will not be able to sell the pub to anyone other than the Hucking community until September. 

Related topics: Other operators

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