How would you like to own a share in your own old Westmorland pub?

The Butcher's Arms

The Butcher's Arms, Crosby Ravensworth is planned to be a community pub

Well, perhaps you can, because The Lyvennet Community Trust is currently supporting the formation of a cooperative to buy The Butchers Arms in Crosby Ravensworth in the Eden Valley, Cumbria. Following  a very successful community meeting on 5th February 2010, which demonstrated the feasibility (via a presentation supported by Julian Ross, the driving force behind the Hesket Newmarket pub cooperative) and the community’s aspirations to retain the pub, the LCT already have 68 pledges for £1,500 shares to buy the place. Since the plan evolved we have heard that Natural England are thinking of  designating the area as part of a National Park or AONB, so that is likely to make the pub a  popular stop-off for visitors as well as the regulars.

The LCT is working with and supporting the community in developing a co-operative approach to saving Crosby Ravensworth Parish’s last village pub, The Butchers Arms.  The pub is a free house with seating for over 50 in the lounge and public bars and covers for 30 in the dining room. In addition the pub has 3 letting bedrooms. Further details can be found on the Penrith Farmers and Kidds commercial property pages on their website at www.pfandk.co.uk

The LCT group has explored the Hesket Newmarket model where the community formed a cooperative and bought and now run “The Old Crown” pub. There is little doubt that this approach has been extremely successful with the pub building a new restaurant and enlarging the kitchens with a resultant significant turnover increase.

Pub interior

Without doubt one key element is that the community now owns this key village asset. It is our belief, and seems to be borne out by what is happening in Hesket, that local ownership leads to support.

Although the LCT’s current focus is affordable housing, assets, such as the pub, are an intrinsic part of the rural community. The LCT see the pub as being a key focal point and adding enormous value to the plans to build low cost housing in the village.

The LCT have outlined a set of aims in order to purchase the pub:

· Set up a management Group

· Gather share pledges

♣ £1,500 per share

♣ 1 share per person or group

♣ 1 share = 1 vote

· Carry out a commercial valuation and survey

· Seek grant funding

· Claim the pledged money and buy the pub

· Draw up tenancy documents

· Advertise and select tenants

· Open the pub

· When funds allow pay a dividend (The Old Crown paid 3% this year)

· Improve the pub and increase the range of services for the community

· Make the “pub the hub” of the community

WOULD YOU LIKE A SHARE IN THE COMMUNITY HUB?

If you are interested in owning a share of this rural, Westmorland pub, then fill out the share pledge form and follow the instructions to return to the LCT.

Fill the form in now to own a part of a community pub, which, subject to Natural England consultation, may be, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or a National Park. Once the pub is re-opened you will be able to visit, and enjoy a pint and a meal in your own pub.

The LCT emphasise that by filling in the form ALL you are doing is showing an interest at this stage. NO money will be asked for until they have obtained enough share pledges for the purchase to proceed. At that point you can finally decide if you wish to purchase a share (or possibly more than one).

If you’re interested  please follow this page link for the latest news.

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