Beer walk gives a boost to White Horse pub campaign

Donations from the Ballards Beer walk 2017 are to go towards funds to reopen the White Horse pub under community ownership.
Donations from the Ballards Beer walk 2017 are to go towards funds to reopen the White Horse pub under community ownership.

The fight to save the White Horse pub in Rogate took a new turn this week with funds raised through a brewery walk.

Donations from the annual Ballards Beer walk are to go towards funds for a community group to buy the pub for themselves after it closed for a second time last August.

Emma Yellop, who is leading the Rogate Community Group, said she had applied for funding from the Plunkett Foundation with the aim of selling shares in the pub in February.

She said: “Once people can see there’s funding, I think it will give everyone, including the management team, a much-needed boost.

“It shows we’re serious.”

She said the group would find out if the funding application had been successful later in December.

January will then be spent creating a business plan and modelling cash flow for would-be investors and community members to see what they were buying into.

Emma said it was likely the group would be given a conditional offer from the foundation to go towards the asking price for pub, which is now £425,000.

She said: “They’re saying how pubs are really important for the community, especially rural communities because it gives a sense of belonging, of companionship.

“It pulls the community together, which is definitely the case for the White Horse.

“We’re quite a big rural area and without a pub there isn’t that sense of heart to the village any more. It can affect house prices.”

Ballards Brewery, which has been based in Nyewood for more than 30 years, was sold to the Greyhound Brewery in West Chiltington in November.

Sam Crosdil, from Greyhound Brewery, said the walk had a great turnout of around 250 to 300 people.

She said the Nyewood site would be sold eventually but the walk would continue, either from West Chiltington or from the brewery’s pub The Sportsman in Amberley.