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Campaign to save last pub in village gets £100,000 boost

PUBLISHED: 05:57 25 September 2020

Alex Begg in front of the Swan pub in Gressenhall, which he and others are hoping to reopen as a community pub. Picture: Tony Buckingham

Alex Begg in front of the Swan pub in Gressenhall, which he and others are hoping to reopen as a community pub. Picture: Tony Buckingham

© Tony Buckingham/ UNP 0845 600 7737

Campaigners for a community pub in mid Norfolk are celebrating after receiving a £100,000 boost to their fundraising efforts.

The Save Our Swan campaign mascot Chilli with a sign showing the total reached so far: £200,200. It's part of a community campaign to buy and renovate the Swan pub at Gressenhall. Picture: Supplied by Donna ChessumThe Save Our Swan campaign mascot Chilli with a sign showing the total reached so far: £200,200. It's part of a community campaign to buy and renovate the Swan pub at Gressenhall. Picture: Supplied by Donna Chessum

Gressenhall Community Enterprise, which aims to buy and reopen the White Swan in the village, has been told it will receive an equal-parts grant and loan from the More than a Pub scheme run by the Plunkett Foundation, which supports rural communities and businesses.

The news comes days after the campaign team announced that more than £234,000 had been raised from the sale of community shares since the end of August.

Alex Begg from the campaign group said: “We were already so moved by the amazing achievement of raising much of the required capital from the community and so to learn that we have secured another £100,000 it’s almost unbelievable.

“This means we have just £16,000 more to raise to reach the total amount needed to buy and completely renovate the White Swan.

“Our dream of saving the last pub in the village is fast becoming a reality.”

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The enterprise is hoping to raise the remainder of the £350,000 it needs to buy and renovate the pub through social investment loans.

Its plan is to turn the pub into a community hub - following in the footsteps of thousands of other village pubs and shops across the country, including several in Norfolk, which are now run by their communities.

The grant means the team are just £16,000 away from the total project budget to buy and refurbish the White Swan.

On Facebook, the enterprise said: “This achievement is testament to the determination and wonderful spirit of our community.

“There is still time to become part of our community and to help us transform the White Swan into a vibrant hub to meet, eat and drink.”

The More than a Pub scheme is funded by Power to Change, an independent trust set up to support rural businesses, and Key Funds and Coop Finance.

Investors can buy shares in the White Swan from just £50 until the end of September by visiting www.saveourswan.co.uk
























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