A CAMPAIGN to raise funds to save a village pub for the community has been reached. The Kingstone Community Society, which has the vision of establishing a Community Hub in the village, has reached its £100,000 target of selling shares to try and save The Shrewsbury Arms which closed last summer. The Kingstone pub, locally known as the Shrew, closed its doors in May last year, and following two open meetings which were held in the village hall in October, where the community voted overwhelmingly to support the purchase of the pub, to be owned and run as a community asset and community hub; the Kingtsone Community Society was formed.
The society then began a campaign at the beginning of December to raise at least £100,000 in shares, and in just two months they have raised a total of £103,500 in shares. It is aimed to also use loans to be able to purchase the property which has been put up for auction with a guide price of £200,000-£250,000.
Chairman of the society, Jonny Grey, said: “A huge thank you and well done to everyone involved.
“We have held various fundraising events, pop-up cafes, afternoon tea, a pop-up pub, car wash, concerts in the village hall, which have not only raised funds, but have engaged with the community and we aim to continue this when we have purchased the pub.”
The society is currently “in negotiations with the owners” of the pub which was registered with East Staffordshire Borough Council as an Asset of Community Value in September.
If the society is successful in purchasing the Shrewsbury Arms, they hope to have the venue up and running as soon as possible.
Jonny said: “Although there is considerable work to be done on the building and furnishings etc the high offers of volunteer help and goodwill from local trades people and the wider community would allow it to be in a position to reopen quite quickly.”
The society aim to employ a tenant to run the pub rather than have volunteers run it.
Jonny explained: “We decided not to go down this path, as the work involved would be considerable.
“We feel we can still achieve our goals through employing the correct tenant.”
The society aims to make The Shrewsbury Arms a “true community hub” to include activities such as meals on wheels, quiz nights, a café, post office, parcel drop of point, and a room for community groups.
A Share Holder and Public Update Meeting is being hosted by the society at Kingstone Village Hall tomorrow, Thursday, February 7, at 8pm.
The evening, which is open to shareholders, potential investors and those who just want to hear an update, will include a brief update followed by a question and answer session.
For anyone who may not be able to attend the meeting but will still like to be kept up to date about the Shrewsbury Arms in Kingstone, go online to www.kingstonecommunitysociety.org.uk.
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