The New Inn in Norton Lindsey closed its doors on 22 July 2016 after it was put up for sale on the open market by Enterprise Inns. After a number of offers from developers were made for the pub, the community, concerned they might lose the historic pub which had also been an essential hub for the community, began their campaign to save it from being turned into housing in August. Norton Lindsey Parish Council had previously registered the pub as an Asset of Community Value in 2013, one of the first councils to do so under the Localism Act 2011.

Since then, a determined group of locals calling themselves ‘The New Inn Salvation Squad’ have set up a Community Benefit Society and have been working to raise the £300,000 needed to buy the pub through a community share offer, which enables people to invest between £250 and £60,000 and become members – and democratic owners – of the pub.

Rob Brook, Chairman of The New Inn Salvation Squad said: “Our vision has been to not only save our historic pub, but to turn it into a thriving hub for the community with additional facilities, including café and shop. We only had one month to raise the funds but the reaction has been amazing, we’ve even inspired people to invest from as far afield as Germany and the USA! The campaign has involved a lot of hard work but we've been overwhelmed by the fantastic support we've received. This amazing journey from despair to joy has firmly cemented our village community together as we look forward to a new and brighter future for our pub.”

The group has been receiving business advice and financial support, including a £2,500 bursary and a £100,000 grant/loan package, from the More Than A Pub: The Community Pub Business Support programme, a two-year project delivered by Plunkett Foundation and established to help support community ownership of pubs in England. The New Inn will become the third pub to open after receiving this support, which is funded by The Department for Communities and Local Government and Power to Change. The grant/loan package is made up of £50,000 of grant funding from Power to Change and £50,000 of loan funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government, administered and managed by Keyfund.

Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of Plunkett Foundation, said: “Pubs like the New Inn saved by their community are governed democratically on the basis that each member gets one vote, regardless of how much money they invested. In our view this is important, because we know that most communities are made up of people with mixed incomes, and this means that everybody has the opportunity to have a say about what’s important to them. We’re absolutely delighted that the New Inn will be opening its doors to the community in time for Christmas and wish them every success for the future.”

Jenny Sansom of Power to Change said: ‘The New Inn Salvation Squad have produced a great business plan, which is exactly the type of innovative model we wish to support.

The New Inn will be so much more than just a pub – it will be the community hub of the village, providing services and facilities such as a shop, a café, and a parcel collection service. Norton Lindsey is relatively isolated, and this community owned pub will be particularly useful for elderly residents and those without transport. This is a great scheme with plans to provide a diverse range of services and activities for local people.’

The New Inn will become the first co-operatively-owned pub in Warwickshire, and the 45th in the UK. Pubs saved in this way are viable and sustainable forms of businesses; ownership is widespread and democratic, and they tend to be run by full-time managers or tenants.

-ENDS-

Media Enquiries please contact:
Ashley Sellwood, 01993 810730 / [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

More than a pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme(www.plunkett.co.uk/more-than-a-pub) is a unique two year programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England. Its value is £3.62 million and is jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Power to Change Trust. This exciting programme will be led by Plunkett Foundation and delivered in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, Keyfund, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub and Locality. For the first time it will offer the community pub sector access to an end-to-end support programme including capacity building and a finance package made up of loans and grants.

Plunkett Foundation (www.plunkett.co.uk) helps communities to take control of their challenges and overcome them together. We support people, predominantly in rural areas, to set up and run life-changing community co-operatives; enterprises that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people in their community. They help people to tackle a range of issues, from isolation and loneliness to poverty, and come in many forms including shops, cafes, pubs and land-based initiatives, and everything in between.

About Power to Change
Power to Change is an independent charitable trust endowed with £150 million from the Big Lottery Fund to grow community business in England. Over ten years, we will provide funding and support to help build many more successful and sustainable local community businesses across England.

About the Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. 
Since June 2004, we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.
Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.