The Co-operative Loan Fund has made many loans to community-owned shops throughout the country, and we are very pleased to announce our first loan to a community-owned pub, The Butchers Arms in Cumbria.
Money from The Co-operative Loan Fund, along with support from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, and the rallying of 300 villagers who raised substantial funds, has resulted in the pub’s opening success. Approximately £300,000 was raised, much to the community’s delight. It is the only pub in the village of Crosby Ravenscroft.
The money raised was used to help the new community co-operative to buy, refurbish and re-open the pub in August 2011. The pub has been renovated, with a beer garden and full kitchen installed. The Butchers Arms had been closed for almost year following the retirement of its owners.
Cameron Smith, treasurer of the new co-operative pub, said: “This has been an incredible community project to be involved in and, this pub will now benefit from having around 300 ‘co-owners’ committed to its future success. It has brought our community together in many different ways and, the support already received from volunteers and trades could not have been better.
“We have been overwhelmed with the interest in the project. We have shareholders coming from all corners of the UK and, even have a waiting list of potential investors for future share allocations. Around half of our members are local but we have had investors from as far afield as Alaska, America and Australia.”
The co‑operative’s application to The Co‑operative Loan Fund had been approved early in the process, and this objective appraisal of viability contributed to the success of the community share issue which easily reached its target. Shortly before the pub opened, the co-operative approached The Co-operative Loan Fund for a loan to help with working capital.
The community co-op intends to be closely involved with the village to ensure that the community also benefits through events, celebrations and cultural and social activities.
The Butchers Arms has reopened as a traditional Cumbrian pub, serving ales, lager, wine and locally sourced, community supported food.
For further information about The Butchers Arms visit: www.thebutchersarmscrosbyravensworth.com