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Stoke St Gregory villagers convert pub to community hub

image copyrightHOTV project

A shop has re-opened as part of a community project to save the business and a local pub in Somerset.

The Royal Oak in Stoke St Gregory had been up for sale for three years and last year the only shop in the village closed, prompting the fundraiser.

Organiser of the Heart of the Village project Graham Gleed said: "There's a tangible energy in the village."

The shop re-opened inside the pub on Monday and a community cafe is also set to open once the revamp is complete.

image copyrightHOTV project
image captionThe Royal Oak is in the process of being refurbished and will eventually have a community cafe

The Royal Oak was refurbished by volunteers over the summer.

Mr Gleed said: "The number of people who volunteered to support the activity, some of whom we rarely see, have come forward and contributed in any number of ways, from folding up cardboard boxes, to painting and major physical effort to remove the render from the outside of the building.

"It really has been a total community effort."

image copyrightHOTV project
image captionThe Royal Oak has been refurbished by volunteering village residents

The Royal Oak was put up for sale in 2017 and the local parish, with backing from the local community, registered the building as a community asset.

By applying for community asset status, this enabled the community to raise money and make an offer on the building before it went on the open market.

The HOTV project raised £500,000 of which £200,000 came from the local community, so was able to make an offer on the pub in February, just before the coronavirus lockdown in March. The sale was completed on 26 August.

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Related Topics

  • Pubs
  • Stoke Saint Gregory

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