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Cambridge community raises 250k to save local pub

A Cambridgeshire community has raised a staggering £250,000 to save its local pub.

Shareholders celebrate outside the new community owned pub - The Three Tuns at Guilden Morden. Picture: Keith Heppell
Shareholders celebrate outside the new community owned pub - The Three Tuns at Guilden Morden. Picture: Keith Heppell

The purchase of The Three Tuns, an historic, grade II listed, 17th century pub in Guilden Morden has been completed after a five-year battle.

More than £250,000 was raised in share capital by the community to buy and renovate the pub.

In total, 267 private investors bought shares, including several held in trust for children and grandchildren, and the community was awarded £100,000 in grants and loans under the 'More Than A Pub' programme administered by the Plunkett Foundation and secured a mortgage from Co-operative and Community Finance to cover refurbishment costs.

John Harrison, a member of the management committee, is thrilled that the hard work and determination allied to the generosity of the community has finally paid off.

He said: "It has been a long and arduous journey to save The Three Tuns but we are delighted to have this important village asset one step closer to being open as a community pub.

"The pub has been neglected for many years and our focus now is to renovate the building, decorate and sympathetically modernise throughout, and tidy up the overgrown garden. Although ambitious, we are hoping to be in a position to open the pub again next Easter and serve our first pint of beer!

"Whilst we have exceeded our initial fundraising goal there is still the opportunity to invest if people feel more confident in doing so now that it has been bought by the community. There is a lot of renovation work to do, so any additional investment by existing or new shareholders would be put to good use."

Many people from Guilden Morden and the surrounding villages have now offered to help clear the pub and there has also been support from professionals to provide some pro bono help.

The committee is now looking for a community-minded tenant to run the revitalised pub once its renovation has been completed.

A newly renovated two-bedroom flat will be available and with no brewery or agent ties, any potential tenant, with the support of the management committee, will have a free rein to shape the future of the pub.

According to CAMRA, an independent voluntary consumer organisation that promotes real ale and cider and the traditional British pub, there are now over 100 community owned pubs in the UK with many more in the pipeline.

The main attraction is that such a pub is both owned and controlled by a large number of people from within the local community.

The pub can become a hub for that community and reflect the needs of the local area.

No community owned pub has ever failed in the UK – helped by the fact that people are often more inclined to use a pub they have invested in financially.

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