THE future of an historic pub is once again in doubt because not enough money has been raised to pay for it.
A huge effort was made to save the 140-year-old Fox & Hounds in Denmead from being bulldozed by developers to make way for housing.
Donors and investors have so far put £200,000 in the pot to repay a loan which was raised to buy the property and refurbish the building – which needs a huge amount of work done to get it up and running.
However the co-operative needs a further £240,000 to cover the costs and an early summer opening has been postponed.
Rob Stark, director of the co-operative which has taken over the pub, has put out an urgent appeal to investors asking if they would consider increasing the amount.
The community share option ends on May 31 and if insufficient money is raised through that they will have to rely on loans and grants – although there is no guarantee the grant application will be successful.
Mr Stark said: ‘We have this week completed a grant application form for fund matching from SIB (a social investment group) which could, if successful, provide the balance required. The decision is in June.
‘Alternatively, a telephone conference with the Solent Enterprise partnership in association with Portsmouth City Council has given us encouragement that any shortfall up to £50,000 could be granted to us, but again, we won’t know that until we get to within £50,000 of our target and also not until June.
‘However, our experience of grant applications is that they will be heavily oversubscribed and we cannot rely on being successful. But we can try. We are applying for a £100,000 loan which I am hoping we won’t need to call on.
‘But it would be handy to have as an emergency back stop.’
Mr Stark said a decision about the future of the pub will be made in July. If it does not go ahead everyone will be refunded.
Go to foxandhounds-pub.co.uk to invest.