When the Angler’s Rest pub was threatened with closure and redevelopment by Admiral Taverns, Bamford Community Society was set up to purchase the pub. At one time, Bamford boasted a number of public houses but gradually all closed until the Angler’s Rest was the last pub in the village. There was also the risk of the Post Office closing so the plan included the re-location of the Post Office into the Angler’s Rest. The village of Bamford lies at the heart of the most visited area of the Peak District National Park with good road links between Sheffield and Manchester.
The Bamford Community Society was set up with three Directors and a interim Manager. At the first Public Meeting in February 2012 an enthusiastic group of local residents volunteered for the remainder of the Steering Group. A Community Share Offer was put together with an opening date of 17th July 2013 and closing date 28th September 2013. The Share Offer stated in the Prospectus “The Community has the opportunity to buy the Angler’s Rest and create a community owned asset in the heart of the village to incorporate the pub, the Post Office, a café, accommodation and a village car park.”
“By buying shares you can help secure the future of village life in Bamford”.
The purchase price for the pub was raised within a month, a fantastic achievement. Work started almost immediately, carried out by the community.
The result is a wonderful example of community spirit at its very best, all achieved by the Bamford Community’s own efforts. The village now has a charming village pub, the relocated Post Office and a large and colourful café, all interlinked in one building. The large car park serves all these amenities and acts as a village car park at the same time. It has been an enormous challenge for the Community Group, not least because the use of the pub, Post Office and café has exceeded all estimates. In the first two months in the region of 6,000 people have used the café and a further 1,600 customers have used the Post Office during the same period. This success can probably be best summed up by what the Share Prospectus stated ‘This is not about buying a pub, it’s about helping to sustain a community.” Well that has been achieved and much, much more. The Angler’s Rest is a day long facility within easy walking distance for everyone in Bamford. Pub is The Hub were delighted to be able to offer a £4K grant towards the development of the café from its Community Services Fund.
Lessons to Learn
True community effort and commitment can yield rich rewards.
A focused and committed group of people who produced a highly professional and successful Community Share Offer.
A very clear plan and timescale for the building work and refurbishment.
Now a major employer in the area with 21 full and part time employees. Considerable benefits to local suppliers.
A clear definition of individual roles in the managing team that are needed to make a project of this nature work.
In the end 340 villagers became shareholders and raised £275K between them. Pub is The Hub contributed £4K towards the café creation costs.
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