Group hope to be successful in bid for Garboldisham pub

The Fox Inn at Garboldisham which the villagers are hoping to take on as a community pub. Photo: Den

The Fox Inn at Garboldisham which the villagers are hoping to take on as a community pub. Photo: Denise Bradley. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

It has stood in the village of Garboldisham for more than 240 years but for nine of those it has been closed.Now a company set up by villagers hopes to buy the Fox Inn pub and reopen it for the community to once again enjoy.

The Garboldisham Fox Community Interest Company will hope to bid for the grade II listed pub, which was made an Asset of Community Value and therefore protected from development, while it can only be bought by community-based groups.

They have until June 1 after which anyone is able to buy the pub, which is situated on the A1066.

Peter Smith, director of the group, has said villagers are behind the scheme to buy the pub and so far 25 people have bought shares in the company.

He said: 'We have been trying for 10 years to get it going but with no success. There are still a lot of people in the village who want to see the pub open. There is a demand for a pub and people remember it and I have memories of it going back 30 years. We are content we are making progress to raise the money.'

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Mr Smith said he believes to buy and restore the pub, which dates back to 1774, will cost £500,000. And although the group is asking for donations from residents, the majority of money will come from grants.

The group's vision for the pub will see the concrete rendering replaced and the inside and garden area renovated. Outbuildings would also be turned into a micro brewery.

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Mr Smith added: 'We want to get the pub ready and then someone can come in and run it. Years ago it was a really nice looking village pub. We want to resurrect it and make it a community hub because we have the shop and the post office nearby.

'We will put the bid in and see what we are able to do and take it from there. The main aim is to get a viable pub going again in the village.'

On Sunday, May 22 the group will be holding an event to celebrate the company and to raise awareness of their intentions.

It will be held on the field opposite the village hall from 1pm to 6pm. Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, and Breckland Council leader William Nunn will be attending.

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