Garboldisham residents prepare to put in bid to buy their pub
- Credit: Archant
After being a focal point in its village for decades, this pub has lain empty for almost a decade.
Once a bustling hub with a reputation stretching across Norfolk, the Fox Inn in Garboldisham last opened its doors in 2007.
But a local group is fighting to take on the pub and get it running for the village again.
The Garboldisham Fox Community Interest Group (CIC) held an event in the village on Sunday and welcomed Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who has shown ardent support for their efforts.
The grade II listed pub off the A1066 was named as an Asset of Community Value last December, giving community-based groups six months to put in a bid before it was offered to the general market.
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Peter Smith, director of the CIC, said the group already has around £75,000 and added that it received a financial boost by a local benefactor to help it buy the pub.
'The deadline is June 1, but we're hoping to put in a formal bid next week,' he said.
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The group has an ambitious renovation plan for the Fox, including building a new restaurant area, refurbishing the bar areas and creating three new units to house a micro-brewery and other tenants.
Directors have estimated the total cost of the project at £500,000, including around £180,000 to buy the 18th century building and £300,000 for the renovations.
Peter's wife Lynne Smith said: 'We feel passionately about still running it as a pub, because it is a real asset to the village.
'If someone else buys the pub, we don't want to find ourselves in the same position six years down the line because they couldn't make a go of it. We are very confident that we will be able to run it for the village.'
Ms Truss said: 'I'm happy to support the group in what they're doing because village pubs are so important to rural life.
'Now the community has a price it is aiming for to buy the pub, it's a big step forward.'
Would you like to see the Garboldisham Fox open again? Email email@example.com.