The Duke of Marlborough in Somersham, Suffolk closed with retirement of its owners in December 2014. A committed community group is working hard to purchase and open the pub for the benefit of the community
We head into high summer full of optimism for the Save the Duke campaign. In total, with shares and loans, we have raised upwards of £265,000. Many thanks for your support and your patience. It's your encouragement that has kept us going throughout the year, ploughing through the long, laborious tasks and layers of bureaucracy to get to the strong position we’re now in. The faith shown in the campaign from people within and beyond the community has been inspirational.
Progress continues to be made towards agreeing a final purchase price with the owners, with whom we meet at regular intervals. On top of the sum required to buy the pub, a substantial amount of money is needed for working capital. And so, to bring the dream to a reality, we ideally need to raise in the region of a further £60,000. It can be done. Other pubs have been in our position – and done it. So in addition to expressing gratitude for your contribution so far, we are asking whether you might: -
- Consider investing, or increasing your existing shareholding?
- refer a friend, colleague or family member to become a shareholder?
- be in a position to lend us £5,000 to £50,000 for a period of four years?
There’s a great financial incentive for savers - see our Invest page.
Community pub: The Case is Altered, Bentley
David Westley knows all about the challenges in raising capital for a community pub, having led the campaign for the now hugely successful The Case is Altered in Bentley. He says to the Duke of Marlborough supporters:-
“We were in a really similar position as you two years ago. Our target was £350,000, and at the end of our initial investment period, we had raised £140,000. But we kept on plugging away, spreading the word, encouraging people to join in. It took longer than anticipated. We had to be really flexible in the way we did things (for example running the pub with volunteers for the first year), but we made it!
“Here we are now with a thriving village pub and a place at the very heart of our community. It is a social hub used by people across the community – and further afield.
“Our message to everyone who cares about the Duke is to keep going, to do everything in your power to spread the word and gain support, and to refuse to give up. You’ve made a magnificent start – and you will get there. We did. Best of luck.”
With the help you’ve already given, The Duke of Marlborough has a bright future ahead. With determination and commitment - and any more help you are able to give in terms of encouraging others to invest - we can make the dream into a reality.
For examples of other community pubs click HERE
Have you seen our FACEBOOK page? Join in with the photo campaign, add your own posts and 'like' and 'share' posts to show your support - help spread the word and give this project the best chance of success! We are also on twitter - @helpsavetheduke.