Bursary to ‘kick start’ Redgrave pub project

The Cross Keys Steering Committee is working to raise money to purchase The Cross Keys pub in Redgrave on behalf of the community.
The Cross Keys Steering Committee is working to raise money to purchase The Cross Keys pub in Redgrave on behalf of the community.

A campaign launched to purchase a Redgrave pub now has the funds to ‘kick start’ the project after it was awarded a bursary worth £2,500.

The group says the award from the More Than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme, along with £5,000 from the parish council,means work can begin on purchasing the Cross Keys.

Together with up to £5,000 financial support from Redgrave Parish Council we now have the funds to kick start the project and to prepare to raise the funds needed to complete the purchase

Ian Brown, chairman, steering group

The Redgrave Community Society, formed to raise the money to buy the pub, will also receive a package of specialist business advice from More Than A Pub, a two year programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England.

Ian Brown, chairman of the steering group, said: “Together with up to £5,000 financial support from Redgrave Parish Council we now have the funds to kick start the project and to prepare to raise the funds needed to complete the purchase.”

Preparation of a share prospectus is now underway, and it is hoped a fundraising launch event will be held in early August.

More Than a Pub has a value of £3.62m and is jointly funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government and Power to Change. It is being delivered by the Plunkett Foundation in collaboration with Co-operative and Community Finance, Key Fund, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub and Locality.

Plunkett Foundation’s Nicole Hamilton, project manager for More Than A Pub, added: “We’re so pleased to be able to support the Redgrave Community Society Steering Group who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings.

“Pubs that are owned and run by the community are so much more than a place to buy a drink; they provide important social spaces and services for local people, and are central to their community’s sense of place and identity.”

The current owners of the pub announced earlier this year their intention to sell the Cross Keys, offering it to the village as a community asset.

An expression of interest to bid has already been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council, triggering a moratorium that prevents the sale of the Grade II-listed 16th century pub until October 25, 2017.

This will allow the village time to try to raise the funds needed to acquire the pub, which has been offered to the community for £300,000.

The community gave their support to the project back in May, and the steering group has begun preparing the fundraising effort.

This includes applying for the registration of a Community Benefit Society, which will be the legal entity though which funds can be raised.