In April, residents of the Lancashire village of Belthorn launched a share offer in a bid to bring their local pub into community ownership. Six months later, the sale of the pub has completed, and the Dog Inn Belthorn is now officially Lancashire’s first community-owned free house.
The pub was built over 300 years ago as a shelter for local farmers, and the village grew up around it. However the pub, which was owned by Enterprise Inns, closed when the former landlord Nick Parker left last November.
The property was then bought by Ribble Valley Luxury Homes, which intended to build luxury apartments on the site.
“With the help of Co-operative and Mutual Solutions, the village formed a community benefit society, The Dog Inn (Belthorn ) Ltd,” said Kathryn Sharpe, pub secretary.
“After meeting with Stanley Ainsworth, director of Ribble Valley Luxury Homes, he agreed to sell us the pub if we could raise enough money to buy it from him within a time frame of two months.
“We managed to raise over £170,000 in shares. The share offer gave investors (dependent on personal circumstances) up to 50% in tax relief and up to 3% interest payout dependent on future performance. Shares are still available to anyone who wishes to take up this opportunity.”
The Dog Inn Belthorn will open at the end of October as a pub, café and local shop with allotments on the back. A restaurant is planned for next year.
Ms Sharpe added: “We would like to thank everyone who has helped us on our journey and especially Ribble Valley Luxury Homes Ltd for their co-operation in selling us the building.”