Rishi Sunak has backed a community group’s mission to buy and reopen their village pub.
The Richmond MP pledged his support to the Skeeby Community Pub Society (SCPS) after the group reached agreement with the building’s owner to purchase and refurbish the pub.
The group had previously succeeded in having the Travellers Rest registered as an Asset of Community Value to protect it from re-development.
Mr Sunak met members of the society to hear about their plans to re-open the pub and turn it into a community hub offering a range of additional services to the village.
The group is now raising about £275,000 to fund the purchase and associated costs and have raised more than £200,000 so far through sales of shares and grants.
At the meeting with Society members, Mr Sunak agreed to invest and to continue the support he has offered the project since 2015.
He said: “The group has done a tremendous job to get to this point and I’ve been pleased to offer my help in navigating the process of protecting the building from re-development.
“I admire their passion and I’m delighted to back their ambition to resurrect the Travellers Rest and put it back at the heart of the Skeeby community.”
Society chair Carol Wilkinson said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome new shareholders and thanks to our MP Rishi Sunak for offering his support to the SCPS. It was great to discuss the many benefits of community-owned ventures with him, and the social value of such projects for the community.”
SCPS is aiming to hit its £275,000 target by July 3, the closing date of the share offer.
Anyone wishing to join Mr Sunak in investing in the Travellers Rest to create a business owned entirely by shareholders and run for the benefit of the community, can find details on www.thetravellersrestskeeby.co.uk
The SCPS has been awarded a grant from the Richmondshire District Council Community Investment Fund, a fund which specifically offers support to community projects.
Over 120 people have invested to date with a total share purchase value of £164,600 so far.