Residents celebrate milestones in bid to save village pub

The Old Horn. Photo: Gordon Hatton.

Residents of Spennithorne and Harmby are celebrating two milestones in their bid to save a village pub.

The doors have been shut at the Old Horn in Spennithorne since the beginning of September.

The pub’s owners have applied for planning permission to convert the historic building into two houses after unsuccessfully trying to sell the premises.

However,  campaign group has been set up in a bid to raise enough money to buy the premises and reopen it as a pub.

The group says it has received pledges of financial support from many local villagers.

The campaign has been boosted by the news that the Old Horn has been registered by Richmondshire District Council as an asset of community value.

This means it cannot be sold without the campaign group’s knowledge, and that the owners must inform the campaign if they receive any plausible offers.

In a second boost, the Financial Conduct Authority has registered the Old Horn Community Pub Society Ltd as a community benefit society, which it is hoped would make it easier for the community to buy and run the pub.

“In addition to these two extremely important developments, we have lodged our expression of interest with the community ownership fund (COF) and await the opening of the next funding window,” said group spokesman Richard Wortley.

“All paperwork is collated awaiting valuation details then with the help of the Plunkett Foundation our share prospectus will be reviewed and submitted to be kite marked, a measure of quality control which will further support our bid.”

Documents submitted with the current owner’s planning permission states that the premises is “unviable” as a pub, with Spennithorne not large enough to support its own pub, with more viable and prominent competitors within an short distance of the village.

Full details of all the latest developments in the campaign will be given to residents at a public meeting on Wednesday, November 9 at 6.30pm in Harmby Village Hall.