Community bid to save village pub

man drinking beerLocals have launched a community share offer to save their village pub from going out of business.

Residents in Polbathic, Cornwall, are being urged to contribute £250 to become a co-owner of The Halfway House, which has gone into administration.

The newly formed co-operative society, Polbathic Community Pub, is aiming to raise £145,000 by Christmas Eve.

Vez Sullivan, a member of the society, said: "The pub is still trading and we are working very closely with the present tenants to realise the shared dream of securing the future of the pub by bringing it into community ownership.

"We have been delighted with the initial response - we have even had local tradespeople offering to volunteer to help us to refurbish the pub. Around £50,000 has been raised so far. However, with the asking price now reduced and a quick sale required, we need to raise at least £145,000 so that we have the funds in place to support our offer to buy the pub.

"This is a one-time opportunity to save a vital community asset for our small village and the surrounding areas and now really is the time for action. We hope it might even make the ideal Christmas gift for someone who has always dreamed of owning a pub.

"A well-run pub can put the heart back into the community. We aim to sell local ales and be a focus for community events, celebrations, social and cultural activities. We hope to encourage the widest possible membership who will be able to say that they saved and co-own The Halfway House, a pub believed to be the first community owned pub in Cornwall."

Michael Fairclough, of the Co-operative Group, which assisted the community group through its Co-operative Enterprise Hub, said: "By working together people can be powerful catalysts for change capable of overcoming many of the challenges facing society, the environment and economy. Co-operation can be key to bringing about the changes that people want to see in their communities."

There has been a near 25% increase in UK co-operative enterprises since 2009.

© 2013 Press Association