A mystery investor wants to pay £500,000 to save a pub and reopen it for the community – after it narrowly avoided becoming a convenience store.
Campaigners are about to start offering shares to revive The Plough, at Sandygate – opposite Hallam FC, the world’s oldest football ground – as a retired businessman has offered to buy the pub and lease it back to them for at least 10 years.
Supporters are launching a community share issue in an attempt to raise at least £120,000.
Originally, the Save The Plough group believed they would have to collect a much bigger amount to purchase the freehold of the building, which has been put on the market for £550,000 by Enterprise Inns.
The private investor is a retired businessman who wishes to remain anonymous at present.
The Plough is registered with the council as an ‘asset of community value’, affording it some protection against being knocked down or converted. Enterprise’s decision to sell triggered a six-month moratorium giving supporters the chance to put together a bid to make a purchase.
In January Sheffield councillors rejected an application to turn the place into a Sainsbury’s convenience store.
Peter Duff, chairman of Save The Plough, said: “Our vision remains the same - to reopen The Plough as both a traditional local pub and a community asset, offering a wide range of community facilities and activities for local people.”
He said a consultant had valued the pub as being worth £435,000 - much less than Enterprise’s sum.
“There are negotiations to be had,” Mr Duff added.
A public meeting about the share offer is happening on Thursday from 7pm at St Columba’s Church Hall on Manchester Road, Crosspool.