A campaign to save a much-loved Kirkby Malzeard pub from dereliction has been awarded support from More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme.
The Henry Jenkins Community Pub (HJCP) Ltd will receive a package of specialist business advice and a £2,500 bursary from More than a Pub, a programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England.
David Robinson, Chair of the HJCP Ltd, said:
We’re delighted to have been awarded support from More than a Pub. The support that the scheme offers will allow us to access invaluable advice and knowledge that we, as an enthusiastic team of volunteers, can only benefit from. The bursary will enable us to stage meetings to share our progress with the 150 members we have already gained, and produce promotional material to share our story and attract the support and additional membership we need to reach our fundraising target.
The Henry Jenkins closed its doors to the public more than eight years ago, and since then has been left empty and deteriorating on the Main Street of the thriving village of Kirkby Malzeard. With planning permission to turn the site into housing having been repeatedly denied and the site being deemed an Asset of Community Value, the local support group has shared a vision of a community owned pub with bistro, so far attracting over £175,000 of share purchases by supporters both in the village, and also from former residents who now live across the UK and overseas.
David Robinson, Chair of the HJCP Ltd, explained:
As our village continues to grow, we feel it is important to offer local residents a quality country pub that will serve young and old well into the future. A community based pub is owned by the village, for the village, and there have been amazing success stories the length and breadth of the country.
When we asked the village what kind of things they wanted from the HJCP, residents came up with some great ideas, from a coffee shop, art gallery, tool library, and a bunk barn. The first step, however, is to purchase the pub from the developer, find a great tenant and get it up and running as a pub.
To do that we need to raise more funds. We’ve had an amazing response, but we still need to raise another £31,000 to be able to make this dream a reality.
Plunkett Foundation’s James Alcock, Executive Director for Plunkett, said:
We’re so pleased to be able to support The Henry Jenkins group, who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings. Pubs that are owned and run by the community are so much more than a place to buy a drink; they provide important social spaces and services for local people, and are central to their community’s sense of place and identity.
The More than a Pub programme has a value of £2.2 million and is funded by Power to Change. It is being delivered by Plunkett Foundation in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, Key Fund, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Locality.
HJCP Ltd is seeking new members and shareholders. Interested parties can join via the website or by requesting a membership application form (details below). Community shares are available to purchase at £250 per share to a maximum of 120 shares.
If you would like to know more about the project, or purchase shares, visit www.thehenryjenkins.com, or visit our Facebook page ‘Henry Jenkins Community Pub’.