Residents of Exelby buy village pub

Richmond MP and villagers outside the community-owned Green Dragon in Exelby.

Residents of Exelby near Bedale have clubbed together to buy their village pub.

Plans by the village of Exelby to buy and renovate the Green Dragon pub as a community hub paid off this week when the local group, Exelby Green Dragon Community Pub Ltd, completed on the purchase from pub company Ei Group.

The plans include the renovation of the Green Dragon and creation of community-led affordable housing in the village, together with the re-establishment of a community shop and café.

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Rishi Sunak MP, the first investor in the community pub venture, said he was delighted to hear the purchase of the Green Dragon had been successfully completed.

He said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in reaching this milestone so speedily. I look forward to the pub opening its doors to the community once more – a community which has done so much to ensure its future.”

Company secretary and local resident, John Walker, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and goes to show just what communities can do when we work together.

“It is so much more than a pub with a mixture of housing and other resources that will enhance the village and surrounding area.

“This is just the beginning with many more exciting plans to get the whole community involved.”