The Stoke Canon Inn closed in 2009 and was sold to a property development partnership. The upstairs flat was let privately and the downstairs trading area stood empty.
At the beginning of 2011 the community approached the owner and asked if they could rent the downstairs trading area. A lease was negotiated and the villagers raised £15,000 to repair and refurbish the space, sort out the cellar and stock the bar. The pub then opened on 17 June 2011 as a volunteer staffed, community venture and has traded successfully for the past 8 years.
The pub has one employed bar manager who organises the volunteer rotas, liaises with suppliers, holds the personal licence and generally keeps order. There are 25 regular volunteers who work behind the bar, clean the pub, tend the garden and deal with all financial matters.
Having experienced the loss of their essential village asset for four years the community was determined to save it for the future. The pub has a significant social impact on the area. There is a tangible atmosphere of friendship and there are a range of activities designed to foster community cohesion, promote wellbeing and combat loneliness.
The community has raised the funds needed to purchase the property together with a grant from the More Than a Pub programme, a loan from Cooperative and Community Finance and a mortgage from Triodos Bank UK. We are very grateful for all the help we have received and look forward to a bright future.
The deadline for the share issue has been extended by the Management Committee to 14 September 2019