PM Cameron Shows Support for Community Pub
Steve Holroyd, Consultant in the Leeds office of law firm Lupton Fawcett LLP had lunch on Wednesday with PM David Cameron at the Butchers Arms public house in the quiet village of Crosby Ravensworth, in anticipation of the pub re-opening for business after it was rescued by the local community.
Steve who is a board member of the Community Society that saved the pub dealt with all the associated legal work on the project. The Butchers Arms was the only remaining pub in the village until it closed in September 2010. A small group including Steve decided to take action to save it for the benefit of the community.
A prospectus was issued in March, with the objective of raising £300,000 to buy the pub and carry out the extensive refurbishment works needed. Investments came in from as far as Alaska and Australia with the majority of funds being raised more locally, all of which enabled the purchase to be completed on 8 June. Then the hard work started. Co-ordinated by the board, an army of local volunteers set about clearing, knocking down walls, re-building and re-decorating. Most of the work was carried out by willing members of the local community, giving up virtually all their free time for weeks on end, without which such extensive refurbishment would not have been affordable.
The grand re-opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday 27 August when an investor from Australia who lived in the pub as a child will officially re-open it on behalf of the 284 investors.
The Prime Minister was keen to visit the pub first hand to see what had been achieved on the community project and how the principles applied could be of interest in relation to policy around the government's "Big Society" agenda.
Steve commented “It was great to meet the Prime Minister, who took a very intent interest in the project. It is rewarding to have been able to contribute both to the management and the hard physical work that has gone into this very fulfilling project”.
Steve and other members of the Trusts Wills and Estates team at Lupton Fawcett, whose specialisms include the legal aspects of social enterprise, feel justifiably proud of their professional involvement.