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You can now own part of this pub for just £50

PUBLISHED: 07:49 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:06 20 August 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

Shares in a former coaching inn which is to be reopened as a community pub have now gone on sale.

Alex Begg with Laura Cross and her son Freddie in front of the Swan at Gressenhall. Laura is wearing a virtual reality headset, which has been programmed so that people can see plans of how the pub will look. Picture: Tony BuckinghamAlex Begg with Laura Cross and her son Freddie in front of the Swan at Gressenhall. Laura is wearing a virtual reality headset, which has been programmed so that people can see plans of how the pub will look. Picture: Tony Buckingham

The Gressenhall Community Enterprise (CAG) - a community group formed after the village’s Swan pub closed in 2018 - are hoping to raise £230,000 towards buying the building and returning it to its former glory.

Investors can buy a stake in the pub worth between £50 and £25,000, and the CAG hope to raise the rest of the £350,000 needed through social investment loans.

Though the pub was previously called The Swan, locals want to restore its original name of The White Swan.

Donna Chessum, from the campaign team, said there had already been a lot of support for the scheme, which aimed to put the pub back at the heart of its village.

Community members in front of the Swan pub in Gressenhall, which they are hoping to reopen as a community pub. Pictured are, back row, Alex Begg, Tim Jarvis, Sarah Jarvis, Chris Smith, Simon Cleare, Nikki Neale, Ben Philo, Pam Neale, Dominic Chessum, Rosie Begg

, front row, 
Claudia Pollinger, Laura Cross and her son Freddie. Picture: Tony BuckinghamCommunity members in front of the Swan pub in Gressenhall, which they are hoping to reopen as a community pub. Pictured are, back row, Alex Begg, Tim Jarvis, Sarah Jarvis, Chris Smith, Simon Cleare, Nikki Neale, Ben Philo, Pam Neale, Dominic Chessum, Rosie Begg , front row, Claudia Pollinger, Laura Cross and her son Freddie. Picture: Tony Buckingham

Mrs Chessum said: “We really want the White Swan to be more than just a pub. It could be a vibrant hub for the whole community - families, community groups, the local choir, we want it to be used by everyone.

“The indications so far are positive. There seems to be a lot of interest from within the village which is great.”

MORE: Fresh bid to revitalise derelict village pub for £230,000

Ms Chessum said they hoped to follow 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.

If the project is successful, the pub would open seven days a week offering a mixture of ales and food from produce sourced from nearby farms. Four jobs and a number of volunteer positions would be created and themed evenings, quizzes and other fundraising events would be held.

A cafe would be open 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday, and the pub would serve food midday-3pm and 5.30pm-8.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and midday-3pm on Sundays.

CAG’s business plan includes reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, and calls for increased hygiene protocols and training for staff, and a greater focus on outdoor seating and takeaway and delivery options.

The plan also outlines ideas including discounts at weekly pensioner lunches, and calls for links with groups such as Walk for Health and the Chatty Cafe Scheme in order to boost the physical and mental wellbeing of locals.

To find out more about the share offer, visit www.saveourswan.co.uk.


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