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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Community bid to save West Cumbrian village pub

A Great Broughton pub could be save by a community buyout after the death of its owner.

punchbowl3011
SAVE OUR PUB: A community buy-out is being considered for The Punch Bowl, in Great Broughton. From left: regular John Windsor, owner Sharron Rourke, quiz team captain Richard Evans and Peter Inglis, who is leading the bid

Albert Charters, who was landlord of The Punch Bowl on Main Street, died last month after running the pub for 36 years, initially with wife Shirley.

The couple’s daughter Sharron Rourke has since kept the pub running with the help of staff and volunteers.

Villager Peter Inglis is now leading a bid for the community to save the pub.

Mr Inglis, who has supported the pub since moving to the village 37 years ago, said: “The Punch Bowl has been a focal point for Broughton village life for a very long time.

“Although there are other pubs in the village it would be a great shame if it were to close following Albert’s sad demise.

“Albert’s daughter Sharron would like The Punch Bowl to remain open, not least because it was such a large part of Albert’s and Shirley’s lives, but she does not want to continue running it herself because of other commitments.

“Sharron has asked me to consider setting up a group of interested individuals to run The Punch Bowl as a community pub.”

Under the plan the pub would be let at a nominal rent to a new community group for an initial period, possibly 10 years, with the option to continue the lease after that.

Any interested people could buy shares as long as at least 51 per cent of shareholders live in Broughton.

The minimum investment is likely to be £100, with the maximum to be decided.

Funding would be sought from local organisations to refurbish the pub and provide working capital.

There is also a plan to landscape the back yard as a beer garden.

It is hoped that the pub would be mainly staffed voluntarily by shareholders.

Sharron plans to rent out a house attached to the pub as a holiday let.

Peter Maher, of the Fox & Hounds at Ennerdale Bridge, which has been set up as a community pub, has provided information and advice.

Broughton Parish Council gave its backing to the project on Tuesday.

A meeting will be held at The Punch Bowl on Thursday at 7.30pm to discuss the plan.

Anyone interested who cannot attend can email peteringlis@talktalk.net

Have your say

I am a cousin of Shirley and Albert and have spent many happy hours in The Punchbow, when we visited Cumbria It would be so sad top see it close. I hope that the community can rally together and pull off the Community Pub idea and keep Shirley and Alberts dram alive

Posted by Kathleen Stott on 30 November 2012 at 23:06

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