Villagers launch £270k bid to buy Ribble Valley pub
The Duke of York closed last year and it meant the village of Grindleton had no pubs and no regular meeting places apart from the village hall.
An application was submitted to turn it into a house, business premises and holiday cottages, but Ribble Valley council officials turned down the plans and the Grade II listed building has been put back on the market.
Now, Grindleton Community Pub Ltd has been set up and members want to turn it into a community pub and cafe. Their goal is to raise £270,000.
John Halley, who is leading the fundraising campaign, said: "For as long as anyone can remember there have always been two pubs in Grindleton - The Duke of York and The Buck. In the last three years both have closed. Other than the village hall (known as The Pavilion), there are no meeting places or shops within the village. Therefore, the pubs have always been at the heart of Grindleton and their demise has been a significant loss to the social fabric of this rural community. This community wants to save The Duke of York from redevelopment by purchasing it at a realistic price, refurbishing and re-opening it as our own Grindleton Community Pub and Café.
"This will be a sustainable business that is owned by the community and run for the benefit of the community it serves. Social opening hours will make our pub and café an accessible place to visit, catch-up with friends and meet new people. A place to find information, share news and views, get involved in activities and showcase local talent and expertise."
John explained fundraising help from the community is crucial.
He added: "The plan is to appoint a professional tenant with the experience and skills to run the pub and cafe as a profitable and successful business for the benefit of all villagers and the wider community. We estimate £450,000 will be required to purchase the building and carry out the renovations. The Bowland Trust has offered to provide a substantial grant to help purchase and refurbish the Duke of York. This support, together with smaller grants from elsewhere, leaves £270,000 to be raised by the community. We will soon be launching a share offer to raise this money. In this way, both locals, and people from further afield will be able to purchase a stake in this social resource and thereby make a tangible contribution to restoring the heart of Grindleton."