Swaledale villagers look to buy local pub

The Farmers Arms, Muker

Residents of Muker and surrounding communities are looking at the possibility of buying the village pub.

The Farmers Arms has been on the market for the last two years with an asking price of £495,000, but is yet to be sold.

To secure its future, local residents are gauging support for a community ownership model, which has been successful in other villages in the district, including Hudswell, Skeeby and Carlton-in-Coverdale, as well as nearby Gunnerside.

A group, Muker Community Pub, has ben formed to investigate the possible purchase.

Public meetings will be held next month to discuss the next move.

A group spokesperson said: “The pub has been at the heart of the community since the mid 19thcentury, catering to the needs of both locals and
visitors alike

“If you’ve ever joined the community singing outside the pub at the end of Muker Show Day you’ll understand just how important it is.”

They added: “The Farmers has been on the market for two years, so we’re now investigating the potential for community ownership.

“This could secure its future and ensure it is run for the benefit of the Upper Swaledale community.”

If there is enough interest, residents would apply for a grant of up to £250,000 which are available through the Government’s community ownership fund towards the purchase.

The group says the current owner, former rugby league star Andy Gascoigne, is supportive of a community purchase.

Two public meetings will be held next month at Muker Public Hall on November 14 and Keld Public Hall on November 16, both starting at 7.30pm.

Anyone wanting more information can email mukercommunitypub@gmail.com

A Facebook page has also been set up.