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One last push! Campaign to save village pub enters final stages

PUBLISHED: 17:30 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:02 30 May 2018

Some of the Northwold and Whittington Community Benefit Society Limited committee members and volunteer helping to save the Crown Inn, Northwold. Pictured left to right: Anita Mitchell,  Zoe Vanderstay (volunteer), Cliff Anderson, chairman Mark Vanderstay, Tom Ryves and Steve Stark. Picture: Northwold and Whittington Community Benefit Society Limited

Some of the Northwold and Whittington Community Benefit Society Limited committee members and volunteer helping to save the Crown Inn, Northwold. Pictured left to right: Anita Mitchell, Zoe Vanderstay (volunteer), Cliff Anderson, chairman Mark Vanderstay, Tom Ryves and Steve Stark. Picture: Northwold and Whittington Community Benefit Society Limited

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A community is hopeful it could make a successful bid to buy its village pub as residents make a final funding push to save it from closure.

The Crown Inn, Northwold. Picture: Sonya DuncanThe Crown Inn, Northwold. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Northwold has already lost its post office and village shop - but residents were determined the Crown Inn would not follow suit when it closed in October 2017.

Villagers have turned out in force to support fundraising events, including pop-up pubs in local gardens and the village hall.

So far more than £170,000 has been raised towards the target of £325,000 needed to buy the popular pub and transform it into the hub of the community.

People have given pledges and bought shares, while grants have also been secured.

At an event on Bank Holiday Monday to encourage more people to buy shares before a bid for the pub is made, £18,600 was raised through sold shares and pledges converted into shares. A barbecue on the day also raised more than £700.

Mark Vanderstay, chairman of the Northwold and Whittington Community Benefit Society Limited - set up to try and buy the pub while it is listed as an asset of community value - has praised locals.

He said: “The amount of interest in the village for saving the pub is overwhelming, and it’s heart-warming to see so many interested in saving it for the community now and those who follow.

“I think the most amazing thing is people doubled their pledges at the event.

“ People are even more convinced now it is a good idea to have a pub. They can see it is not just a drinking hole and is something more than that.”

Mr Vanderstay, who has lived in Northwold since 2005, said he is “certainly hoping” a bid will be made by the committee.

In addition to serving local ales and classic pub favourites, plans for the establishment include a shop, book exchange, cafe serving tea and coffee and creating “an inclusive, socially-cohesive pub for the whole community”.

He added: “Our aim is very much a community pub assuming we can get this project to a successful conclusion.

“There are benefits not only socially but it will be run as a community society so profits will go back into the community.”

For more information visit Save the Crown.

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