A community campaign to secure the future of the village pub is gaining momentum with initial pledges of financial support.
Residents of the Peak District village of Bamford want to ensure the Anglers Rest survives as a pub, with the local post office and a cafe added in the process.
Looking to launch a share issue, they have so far generated commitments adding up to more than £80,000, passing one-third of the amount they believe is needed to help strike a deal with Admiral Taverns.
After seeing a succession of tenants running the pub, Bamford Community Society wants to reinvigorate it as a community focalpoint, boosting the village economy at the same time.
“If we don’t do anything, Bamford will see itself without a pub and probably without a post office,” said society member Ben McIntyre.
There are some “dissenters” who question why the community should pay to support a pub, he said, but 100 pledges so far indicated that many people supported the idea.
Mr McIntyre, who lives in the village and is an IT worker in Sheffield, said he was “hopeful” that the proposed community venture would succeed - “but we need more pledges.
“If we get enough pledges, we’ll start a share issue. We have got all the legal details in place.
“The problem is that we have to proceed quickly. We are trying to get the post office in the pub as well, which is a major thing for a lot of people in the village.”
The share issue would involve a minimum £250 shareholding, conferring membership of a co-operative, which could oversee a tenant running the pub, or could run the pub itself.
Either way, the group wants to see more of an incentive for it to become a hub of the community. “People used to come from Sheffield to the Angler’s Rest and it had a good reputation,” said Mr McIntyre.
“There’s a new tenant moving in this week and we are looking to work with him to try to continue the project with him in mind.”
It is hoped to make the pub - and Bamford - more attractive to visitors, such as cyclists and walkers, encouraging them to stop and spend money without competing with remaining businesses in the village.
Already one village pub, the Derwent Hotel, has closed - the building was being auctioned this week - and the nearby Marquis of Granby pub and hotel remains derelict.
*A ‘fun casino night’ is being held at the pub on Saturday at 8pm to help raise funds. Admission is £5 on the door.