'So happy for our village' - Campaigners celebrate saving last pub
- Credit: Blue Bell Campaign
It has taken months of fundraising and determination - but they've made it.
People in Stoke Ferry met outside the Blue Bell Inn on Saturday, July 3 to officially celebrate the successful buy-out of the premises, following 17 months of community fundraising events and efforts.
The pub, which has served the community for more than 200 years, has been closed for three years and was potentially going to be sold and converted into a home.
A survey carried out in March 2020 revealed there was "overwhelming support" for a pub in the village - 141 out of 153 respondents.
The group formed Stoke Ferry Community Enterprise Ltd to raise £280,000 to buy and renovate the building, and launched a share offer last November.
Campaigners also got the backing from actor and author Stephen Fry and TV personality Stephen K Amos, which they said "massively boosted" their support.
Mr Fry tweeted in December: "Let's save endangered, beloved pubs by buying them together."
Planning applications to turn the pub into housing were turned down by West Norfolk Council.
And now after successfully raising their target of £280,000 and buying the building, the group plans to renovate it to bring it back to life as a "pub-café-community hub".
Chairman Stephen Ward thanked all those involved, adding that a team of tradespeople and local businesses have rallied behind the cause to help renovate the building for the benefit of the community.
- 1 M&S to close 32 stores as part of move away from town centres
- 2 WATCH: 'Unplayable' delivery from Suffolk bowler goes viral
- 3 Farmer says cousin's wedding venue will bring 'criminal activity'
- 4 The best places to eat in north Norfolk according to The Good Food Guide
- 5 Norfolk garden centre wins 27th gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show
- 6 Men fined more than £600 for fishing illegally
- 7 A47 clears following long delays after four-vehicle crash
- 8 Green light for new Sainsbury's store on 850-home estate
- 9 Factory worker was found dead at home, court told
- 10 Norwich man wins jackpot on BBC game show Pointless
Lyn Juniper-Solley said: “The community buy-out of the Blue Bell is fantastic news.
"I can’t wait to help with the renovation and create a bar-café that is welcoming to everybody.”
Elaine Ford said: “I’m giddy with excitement. There are so many local people involved and I know there’s lots of business support out there as well. I am just so happy for our village.”