7 pubs which are run by their community

Norfolk and Waveney are now home to an array of community-run pubs.

Norfolk and Waveney are now home to an array of community-run pubs. - Credit: Various

When pubs are forced to shut their doors, the closures rarely go without outcry.

Petitions, campaign and fights for extra protection begin and, sometimes, a group of volunteers willing to take it on steps forward.

While some efforts fail to become a reality, many do - and the region is now home to several community-run pubs.

HRH The Prince of Wales visiting the White Horse pub, a community pub, in Upton near Acle, Norfolk.

HRH The Prince of Wales visiting the White Horse pub, a community pub, in Upton near Acle, Norfolk. Picture: James Bass. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The White Horse, Upton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The White Horse, Upton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

  • White Horse, Upton

The White Horse became Norfolk's first fully community-run pub in 2012 after villagers raised the first £100,000 the buy the Chapel Road pub.

They were given support from the Prince's Countryside Fund (and received a visit in February 2016 from the Prince of Wales), Broadland Community Grants, Broadland Community Renewables and Norfolk Community Foundation.

The Locks Inn near Geldeston opens as a community pub after going up for auction last year. The pub

The Locks Inn near Geldeston opens as a community pub after going up for auction last year. The pub can be reached by track or by the Big Dog Ferry which leaves from Beccles. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Locks Inn near Geldeston opens as a community pub after going up for auction last year. The pub

The Locks Inn near Geldeston opens as a community pub after going up for auction last year. The pub can be reached by track or by the Big Dog Ferry which leaves from Beccles. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

  • The Locks Inn, Geldeston

From the oldest to the newest - the Locks Inn at Geldeston reopened to customers on May 13, with 1,400 shareholders who secured the future of the pub.

Graham Elliott, who spearheaded the community's efforts to buy the pub at auctionstepped down from his role on East Suffolk Council after more than a decade to focus on the pub.

Some of the team who helped to Beeston Ploughshare pub. Pictured front and centre are the new pub ma

Some of the team who helped to Beeston Ploughshare pub. Pictured front and centre are the new pub manager Becca Musgrave and one of the volunteers, Kim Wheeler. Picture: STUART ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

The Beeston Ploughshare is up and running after a tireless community campaign to re-open the pub. Pi

The Beeston Ploughshare is up and running after a tireless community campaign to re-open the pub. Picture: Norfolk Community Foundation - Credit: Archant

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  • Beeston Ploughshare

The campaign to buy the Ploughshare began in March 2016, after the pub closed.

By December 2017, the village had raised more than £150,000 via a successful share offer, fundraising events and grants. It was officially purchased in January 2019 and has been run successfully since.

It's two years since the money was handed over to Punch Taverns to enable the community to take over

It's two years since the money was handed over to Punch Taverns to enable the community to take over the King's Arms in Shouldham. Pictured is landlord Ian Skinner. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

  • King's Arms, Shouldham

When the King's Arms closed in 2012, the village was left disappointed. A campaign to reopen it began in 2013, and by October of that year - helped by a tweet from Stephen Fry - the group reached its target of £150,000 shares sold. One hundred and eighty-nine people had invested.

By January 2014, the purchase was finalised and the Shouldham Community Enterprises became the pub's official owner.

Beer Festival at The Fox Inn at Garboldisham. Directors Ian Skipper, left, and Eddie Theaker.Picture

Beer Festival at The Fox Inn at Garboldisham. Directors Ian Skipper, left, and Eddie Theaker.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

  • Fox Inn, Garboldisham

It was after a lengthy 10-year closure that people in the community decided something needed to be done and the pub needed a new lease of life.

Today, it is staffed by volunteers and runs popular Saturday night street food events.

The Racehorse Community Pub in Westhall.

The Racehorse Community Pub in Westhall. - Credit: Racehorse Community Pub

  • Westhall Community Pub

When The Racehorse, near Halesworth, closed in 2016, villagers came together to make their dream of running the pub a reality.

They did so in December 2019, by rental agreement, and still have the goal of purchasing it. As of May 9, the group had reached its first shares target of £25,000 - and are aiming for £100,000 next.

Part of the team that has worked to save the White Swan pub at Gressenhall. From left, Rosie Begg, P

Part of the team that has worked to save the White Swan pub at Gressenhall. From left, Rosie Begg, Pamela Neil, Mary Turner-Jeong, Jane Roberson, Alex Begg and Ryan Seymour. Picture: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

  • Gressenhall Swan

While it's not currently open, the team behind the Save Our Swan campaign have raised £260,000 through community share sales in just six weeks, thanks to 430 investors.

It has also been awarded £100,000 by the More Than a Pub Scheme. After getting the keys in January 2021, work is ongoing to get it ready to open.


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