Time to put money down to save Denmead pub

BIG IDEAS The Fox & Hounds at Denmead
BIG IDEAS The Fox & Hounds at Denmead
The Village Hotel at Lakeside North Harbour, Cosham. Photo: Deborah Croker

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MORE than £250,000 is needed if a community bid to save a village pub is to succeed.

The Fox and Hounds pub, in Denmead, has been at the centre of a campaign to save it from being bulldozed and turned into housing.

It closed last year and the owners then submitted a planning application to Winchester City Council to build two large homes on the site.

It was turned down and villagers managed to get the building registered as a community asset.

That means they have six months to put together a bid to buy the 120-year-old building.

But Nick Jardine, a director of the newly-formed Independent Provident Society Company, which is a co-operative, is confident they will be able to do it.

He said: ‘The purchase price is going to be around £200,000 and in total we are looking at between £250,000 to £350,000.

‘The plan is, because we’re a co-operative society, we will do a share issue but we will also be applying for grants and loans that, as a co-operative company, we’re eligible to apply for.

‘There are a number of community pubs in the country now. There’s one in Bath and two or three in Cumbria.

‘We are confident that we will be able to raise the money but whether we’re confident that the owner will accept a market bid is a different matter.’

The group has the backing of Denmead Parish, Winchester City and Hampshire County councils, The Empower Group and the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

A survey has been carried out and it is waiting for an official valuation of the current market value and a final estimate for the work that is required to return the building to an acceptable standard to reopen.

To register an interest to buy shares email foxandhoundsdenmead@gmail.co.uk. Alternatively go to Save the Fox and Hounds on Facebook and Twitter.