Leaders of the campaign to save Rogate’s White Horse pub, have been given a major boost with news that the Plunkett Foundation which helps villagers buy their community assets, has thrown its weight behind them.
The foundation has just launched a new £3.62m support initiative jointly funded by the department for communities and local government, specifically to help communities take over their pubs.
Emma Yellop, chairman of the Rogate Village Hall committee who is heading the ‘save our pub’ campaign with former chairman Brian Allison said: “I put in an application to see if we were eligible for help and we have been accepted. It is amazing news and a real step forward for us. “I feel this has given our campaign a real lift. They will hold our hand throughout the whole process providing solicitors and surveyors and giving us a support worker.
“It is really exciting news and I think it has given us a fighting chance to succeed.”
The details of the Community Pub Business Support Programme will be announced at a public meeting at the village hall on Saturday (April 22) at 10am.
“We will be bringing villagers up to date, discussing ideas and hoping to form a working party to spearhead the campaign and organise fund raising,” said Emma.
“We would love to see as many people as possible there as its important to show how much community support there is to save our pub.”
Emma met pub owners Harvey’s Brewery last week for a tour of the pub which has now been closed for more than eight weeks.
“It was very upsetting,” she said, “it looks as though the last tenants just walked out of the door without even washing up the glasses.
“Taking into consideration the state of the building, we don’t think it is worth the £500,000 the brewery are asking for it.”
The new Plunkett Foundation initiative is designed to increase the number of community owned pubs open and trading in communities where they are ‘not just a place to drink but a focus of community life’.
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