Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Prime Minister's Local Pub Rescued By Villagers
Villagers are celebrating after banding together to keep the Prime Minister’s local pub open.
They launched a campaign after The Russell Arms, the nearest watering hole to the PM's official country residence of Chequers, was put on the market by Punch Taverns for £425,000.
Many feared the pub - which David Cameron has visited several times since taking office - looked set to be bought by a developer and turned into a house, or converted into an Indian or Chinese restaurant.
Residents in Butlers Cross, Buckinghamshire, set up a limited company - The Russell Pub Company - and offered shares at £5,000 each, with the aim of raising enough to buy the freehold.
They have now had their £390,000 offer accepted, and hope to transform it back into “the successful, thriving community hub that it once was”.
Matt Porter, who led the campaign, wrote to villagers this week, giving them the good news.
“We're delighted to let you know that our bid has been successful...and we are now going through the legal process to finally acquire the site,” he said.
“Thanks to everyone for their tremendous support and for getting us this far.”
He said the pub is in need of a substantial refurbishment, estimated to be around £125,000, and they were now raising funds to pay for that.
In December last year, residents in the nearby village of Dinton raised £360,000 to buy The Seven Stars amid fears their only pub might close.
Campaigners say 16 community pubs are shutting each week in the UK because of high taxes and rocketing bills, and with their demise, Britain is losing part of its culture.
MORE: MPs Moan Their Soup Bowls Are Too Small And Their Subsidised Crisps Are 10g Too Light
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