Communities in Sheffield and the Peak District are uniting to save pubs threatened by closure - highlighting their importance as vital local hubs.
The Closed Shop, at Crookesmoor, is set to reopen tomorrow (Friday), as its manager Chris Rogers has raised enough money to revive the place after Reet Ale Pubs, which previously held the lease, ceased trading.
Campaigners also hope to put in an offer to buy The Plough at Sandygate, which has gone on the market for £550,000, after they successfully fended off a bid to turn the pub into a Sainsbury’s convenience store.
And a further two pubs are setting a template for others to follow.
The Anglers Rest, bought collectively by over 300 people in Bamford, is now three-and-a-half years into its existence as a community-owned venture, while a local society will officially take over at the Gardeners Rest, in Neepsend, next Saturday, after raising £237,600 to buy it following the retirement of landlords Eddy Munnelly and Pat Wilson.
Chris said it took just over two days to raise the £10,000 to purchase stock and cover the initial costs of relaunching The Closed Shop.
The pub is being reopened under a ‘tenancy at will’ - a short-term arrangement with the owner, Punch Taverns. A Sheffield brewery is interested in negotiating a permanent deal.
“The community has come together in an overwhelming show of support,” he said, adding he even had to turn away some of those who offered to invest. “In the end, supply definitely outweighed demand.”
Meanwhile, The Plough’s freehold is being sold by Enterprise Inns. The pub is listed as an ACV - asset of community value - meaning supporters have six months to assemble a bid. Members of campaign group Save The Plough intend to offer shares giving people a stake in the pub’s future. Chairman Peter Duff said the goal was to raise £300,000 from shares, topping up the sum with grants.
The group wants to work with Hallam FC - the world’s oldest football ground, opposite The Plough - to promote the site’s sporting heritage.
As a community pub, The Plough could offer extra services including a repair clinic for household items, activities for older people and workspaces.
Last year a report named Sheffield as the world’s real ale capital, but said the city needed to do more to promote and capitalise on its prowess.
How the Anglers has thrived
The Anglers Rest in Bamford has been declared District Pub of the Year by the Sheffield branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.
The thriving pub, which faced closure, was listed as an ACV and taken over by locals in 2013. The pub incorporates a post office and café. Cycle racks and an outdoor ‘tool station’ add to the amenities.