Community launches new push to buy Swaledale pub

The Farmers Arms, Muker

A Swaledale community is making a fresh push to raise the money to buy their village pub.

The community purchase of the Farmers Arms in Muker suffered a recent setback due to the timing of a general election.

The calling of the general election means no decision will be made on a grant application to the the Government’s community ownership fund until after July 4.

And a change in Government could mean the fund is scrapped altogether.

In a bid to overcome the blow, the Muker Community Benefit Society has today launched a second community share offer to secure the purchase of the pub.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the society’s chairman, said. “All the advice we’ve received says that we cannot rely on the community owership fund (COF) being available after the general election and that it will be many months before any alternative scheme becomes available.

“Given the level of support and enthusiasm for the project, instead of giving up, the society feels the best approach is to raise the funds ourselves”.

The society has announced that a supporter of the community purchase has already stepped in to provide a loan that bridges over half the gap left by the withdrawal of COF, so rather than having to raise £250,000 the society’s minimum target is £80,000.

Ian Evan, the society’s treasurer, said: “Though the withdrawal of COF was an undoubted blow, raising the funds ourselves frees us from the obligations that come with a COF grant and if successful, will secure the funds much more quickly.

“Though we realise just how generous the Farmers Arms community has already been, we hope that just a little more generosity and one last push will see us over the line.”

If you’d like to join over 460 people in owning part of the Dales pub and become part of the Farmers Arms community, visit http://mukercbs.org.

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