Cheers as village pub is saved by the locals

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Delighted residents of Trawden have raised a glass to news that their village local is now in the hands of the community.

The campaign to save the Trawden Arms, the last pub in the village, started in early 2021 with the formation of a steering group of residents, passionate about keeping the pub.

They offered their expertise and time to try to raise enough funds to purchase the pub to prevent it being sold for housing. The group had invaluable support from the Plunkett Foundation, a charity which helps communities control and overcome their challenges, and a Community Benefit Society was formed.

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Through this a share offer was launched and with incredible generosity of local residents who invested financially in the pub, over £450,000 was raised from over 400 investors. The sale completed on Friday October 29th.

The steering group raise a glassThe steering group raise a glass
The steering group raise a glass

Now officially the Trawden Arms Community Pub it will be opening its doors to customers on November 8th.

Dave Webber, chairman of the steering group, said: “We are all so pleased to have secured the purchase of the pub for future generations. There are many people involved to thank –firstly everyone who has invested, both local and further afield - some as far away as new Zealand!

"The Plunkett Foundation, the committee members, and those individuals who have lent their expertise on various matters. We are grateful to everyone involved in the whole process.”

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The new tenants, Adam and Jo, are looking forward to meeting everyone and becoming involved in community life. Their vision for the pub is to “build on the already strong food and drinks offer, nurture a casual and cosy atmosphere, and to host a wide array of events that appeal to all walks of life within the community.”

The soft opening of the pub on the 8th will lead nicely up to the ‘Events Week’ which is set to celebrate the community ownership and is kicking off on Monday November 15th with two evenings for shareholders only.

On the Friday of that week (November 19th) there is a music night with a live acoustic set from Trawden’s Patrick Ralphson, winner of Little Mix the Search; a party night with disco on Saturday 20th and a quiz night on Sunday, all of which are open to everyone.

With the completion of the purchase of the pub, Trawden is now the first place in the UK with not only a community-owned pub, but a shop, post office, library and community centre which are also owned by the community and are run by volunteers.

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Molly Ralphson, communications officer for the steering group, said: “Not many people believed we could raise such a large amount of money, I even doubted it at times!

"It just shows what can be achieved when people pull together and support each other, I am very proud of being a Trawdener right now and am looking forward to celebrating with everyone during event week, and enjoying our local for years to come.”

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