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Campaigners and residents in and around the North Yorkshire village of Kirkby Malzeard are celebrating after raising more than £200,000 in pledges to buy shares – and turn it into a community pub.
The historic Henry Jenkins Inn, named after the oldest Yorkshireman who ever lived, has been closed since 2011 but villagers have been running a long campaign to reopen it as a community-owned pub and restaurant.
According to historical records Henry Jenkins, whose body is buried at Bolton on Swale, near Richmond, was born in 1500 and died in 1670 at the ripe old age of 169.
Dave Robinson, chair of the Henry Jenkins Community Pub (HJCP) Ltd, said:
It’s exactly 350 years since Henry Jenkins’ death and we’re determined that this year we will honour him by leaving a lasting legacy.
Raising £200,750 in community share sales is a ringing endorsement of the level of support this project has.
We’re well on our way to reaching our target of £230,000 in pledges and with grants and loans we hope we’ll soon be in a position to buy the Henry Jenkins and bring it back as a thriving community pub that the great man would be proud to put his name to.
Dave Robinson added:
The Henry Jenkins has been the subject of a long battle with developers from outside the area since 2016, when plans were submitted to demolish the pub and replace it with new housing. The plans were rejected by Harrogate Borough Council in February 2017 and a year later an appeal against refusal was dismissed by a Government inspector who stated,
I remain to be convinced that the potential reuse of the Henry Jenkins as a going concern has been sufficiently investigated.
Now developers have made another an appeal against refusal of permission to convert part of the pub to housing.
Dave Robinson said:
This is yet another attempt to sidestep legitimate planning policies designed to protect community facilities – and to ride roughshod over the wishes of local people determined to save this historic facility for future generations.
The campaign to save the pub was given another boost last week when a public meeting in the village was addressed by Paul Ainsworth, Chair of CAMRA’s pub campaigns committee.
Mr Ainsworth commented:
At a time when 18 pubs are closing their doors every week, the work of community pub organisations such as HJCP Ltd is essential in protecting pubs as social hubs and vital community facilities.
The meeting was also addressed by Ross Higham, landlord of the White Horse community pub at Church Fenton, near Tadcaster. He said:
It is no mean feat to take on the developers and persuade people to invest their own money, but the rewards for Church Fenton as a village have been astounding.
The appeal is due to be heard on March 26th and the deadline for comments from the public is this Friday (March 6th) Submissions can be made at
https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk The case reference number is 3240780