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Plea to villagers to save Stonham Aspal pub

Residents of Stonham Aspal are trying to save the Ten Bells pub and turn it into a community hub for the village.

Residents of Stonham Aspal are trying to save the Ten Bells pub and turn it into a community hub for the village.

A chairman of a management committee has issued a fresh plea to villagers to save their pub with a deadline to buy shares in the building looming.

The Ten Bells, in The Street, Stonham Aspal, has been closed since March 2013.

But a steering group formed last summer, which has been replaced by a management committee, is hoping to buy the grade II listed property through a share scheme.

Villagers have until February 14 to buy shares in the pub - a target of in excess of £300,000 had been set by the committee, although less than £100,000 has been raised so far. The Punch Taverns pub is available for £210,000,

The pub has been listed as an asset of community value under the Localism Act, meaning it cannot be purchased by an outside bid before mid-March.

If successful, the pub could also offer a coffee shop, parcel drop facility, and free wi-fi.

Committee chairman Tracey Hall said she was still confident in raising enough money through the share scheme.

“This is not just about saving a pub. It is about bringing life back to the community and investing in a piece of Suffolk heritage,” she said. “It has been slow because it is Christmas, so I am hopeful it will pick up over the next few weeks. I have spoken to people who are holding back.

“I think with the tax year people are waiting to see what their tax liability is.

“But I am still positive we will get there. I am sure we can.”

Miss Hall added: “If we don’t raise enough money, clearly there is not enough support for it.

“It would be a shame. It is a grade II listed and if it was done up it would be a really nice building.”

For more information on the bid to buy The Ten Bells, or to download a share application form, visit www.tenbells.co.uk

 

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