Pub eyes ‘early spring’ reopening as community urged to invest in it
- Credit: Victoria Pertusa/Brittany Woodman
The “best pub in the world” could reopen by early spring as its new owners issue a rallying call for community investment.
Since closing their doors in September, the Locks Inn, in Geldeston, was snapped up by a community group at the 11th hour before it was due to go under the hammer at auction in October.
Led by Graham Elliott, the group are aiming to reopen the pub within months and secured the freehold of the pub on November 5.
Now, the group have issued hundreds of community shares, which are vital in repaying the loans which guaranteed the purchase of the pub for £405,000.
Mr Elliott, who represents Beccles on East Suffolk Council, said: “I have been staggered by the offers of help and investment.
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“I knew it was a special place but I didn’t realise quite how many other people felt the same way.
“It may be a tough time to be taking on a pub but I know that with community ownership it will thrive.”
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All community shares will represent a legal stake in the pub and will be accompanied by a share certificate as evidence of ownership.
With fundraising under way, the group are now preparing for the “long journey” to reopen their doors to the public, including improvements to the drainage system, and refurnishing, re-equipping and re-staffing the pub.
Most recently, the pub had been occupied by Grain Brewery, who carried out a major refurbishment just 17 months prior to closing their doors in September.
The brewery left the site when the pub was listed for auction by retiring owner Lee Bellis, who had “lived and breathed” the pub since moving into it’s apartment in 2004.
After news of the listing broke, Mr Elliott launched the community bid, saying the pub had the potential to be the “best in the world.”
Speaking ahead of the auction, he said: “The pub has a huge emotional and social attachment to so many people.“
“It is a unique pub and holds a very special place in many people’s hearts.
“Anyone interested in investing in the pub is urged to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone Mr Elliott on 01502 714 661.