Campaign to buy Sheffield pub passes £160,000 mark

Mark Powell is leading the campaign to buy The Gardeners Rest in Kelham Island.
Mark Powell is leading the campaign to buy The Gardeners Rest in Kelham Island.
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Sheffield pub regulars are well on the way to buying their local after pledging more than £160,000.

The impressive amount has been promised in a little over a month by drinkers at the Gardeners Rest, Neepsend, who decided to try to buy the pub after landlord and lady Eddie Munelly and Pat Wilson decided to retire and sell up.

After smashing their initial target of £100,000, the regulars are now looking to hit £200,000 before the final deadline on November 28.

Mark Powell, who helped start the campaign, said it was important for supporters to get involved quickly.

"The story now changes to a concern that people are going to miss out on owning a piece of their local unless they get their pledges in soon," he said.

"This share offer closes when we reach £200,000."

People can buy a share for as little as £100, or as much as £20,000. For that, they get an equal say in how the pub is run.

There is commercial interest in the building, which forms part of the famous Kelham Island real ale trail, and the landlords are under no obligation to sell to the regulars.

But Mr Powell said the strength of support for the community share scheme showed a clear desire for The Gardeners Rest to remain a pub.

And while much of that support has come from regulars, other pledges have come from first-time visitors.

Eddy Munnelly and Pat Wilson.

Eddy Munnelly and Pat Wilson.

"Everyone is buying in to the social benefits associated with it being ‘more than a pub’," said Mr Powell.

"We do think it’s putting a marker down for independent pubs that resist the sweep to get rid of anything that isn’t going to be a money-making private sector flat or business."

Sheffield firm BlueShift Video has produced a video showing off the pub's best bits, and the campaign has made the most of social media.If you would like to donate before the November 28 deadline, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/gardenersrest.

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The Gardeners Rest in Kelham Island.

The Gardeners Rest in Kelham Island.

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