Villagers receive support to buy local pub

Two meetings were held to discuss the idea of Balcombe residents purchasing the Half Moon pub. Picture: Sara Hill-Dalton

Two meetings were held to discuss the idea of Balcombe residents purchasing the Half Moon pub. Picture: Sara Hill-Dalton

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A community has continued to raise money to buy their local pub.

Residents from Balcombe have sought advice from property, hospitality and legal professions to buy the Half Moon pub – the only pub in the village.

On the basis of receiving over £250,000 in pledges, a bid was placed on the pub and accepted by Enterprise Inns – current owner of the pub. This triggered the process of achieving community ownership and turning pledges into investments.

The working group formed a new Community Benefit Society, Balcombe Community Pub Ltd, which is the legal entity that will purchase the pub.

Two public meetings were held on Wednesday and Saturday in Balcombe as residents came to support the idea of purchasing the pub.

They were provided an overview of the progress to date by residents Tim Murrills and Kevin Bottomley, as well as a timeline for the next stages to completion of the purchase including finding the best possible tenant for the pub.

Details of the surveys completed by more than 120 residents of the village were also shared, together with the factors which led to the Working Group ascertaining that the future tenant would be able to run the Half Moon Inn as a viable business.

The meetings ended with questions answered by members of the Working Group.

Sara Hill-Dalton, spokeswoman for the Save the Half Moon steering group, said: “The share offer is now open until December 24, 2016. Each share is priced at £1 and must be fully paid up at the time that it is issued. The minimum number of shares to be a member of the society is 250 and the minimum investment is therefore £250.

“It is possible for several people to invest jointly if required, for example to make up the minimum investment amount and to nominate on of them as the member for voting purposes.”

Purchasers of shares will become members of the Balcombe Community Pub Limited. Cheque and BACS payments are accepted with the application form.

Details and forms are available to download on the business plan page of the web site at www.savethehalfmoon.co.uk.

Anyone interested can ask for an application form via the email address: savethehalfmoon@hotmail.com.

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