Race to save historic footballing pub in Sheffield reaches halfway line

The Plough has been closed since spring last year
The Plough has been closed since spring last year
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Campaigners fighting to save a historic footballing pub in Sheffield are halfway to their fundraising target.

Plans to turn The Plough, in Crosspool, into a supermarket were rejected in January and locals are now attempting to take over the building and preserve it for the community.

Peter Duff, chairman of the Save The Plough campaign group

Peter Duff, chairman of the Save The Plough campaign group

A mystery businessman has offered to buy the watering hole on Sandygate Road, which owner Enterprise Inn values at £550,000, and lease it back to campaigners.

But they must raise at least £120,000 to cover start-up costs, and supporters have been invited to buy community shares to generate that cash.

Since shares went on offer a month ago, with a minimum investment of £250 per person, nearly £60,000 has been raised.

Peter Duff, who chairs the Save The Plough group, said campaigners were now keen to attract more corporate investors and partners to help them reach their goal.

"We are about halfway into the share offer and the response has been good. We are approaching the £60,000 mark which is half of our minimum target," he told The Star.

"We are now looking to push on from there with a wider promotion of the share issue as we have focused on the local community so far.

"One of our next priorities is to try an attract more corporate investors and partners. We have held talks with local businesses including some of Sheffield's micro breweries about how we might work together."

The Plough stands opposite Hallam FC, the world's oldest football ground, and is where the rules of modern football were reputedly drafted.

The pub closed last year and Sainsbury's applied to convert it into a convenience store, but councillors rejected the proposal in January.

The Plough is recognised as an asset of community value, affording it some protection against demolition or conversion, and Enterprise's decision to sell triggered a six-month moratorium giving supporters time to prepare a bid.

Campaigners want to reopen it as a traditional pub which also offers a wide range of community facilities and activities for local people.

* A public meeting will take place tomorrow (Thursday, July 13) from 7pm at St Columba's Church Hall on Manchester Road to update the pub's supporters on progress and discuss the next steps.