Pub bid accepted sparking group’s race to raise funds

The Black Bull in Lowick.

The Black Bull in Lowick.

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A community offer to buy the Black Bull pub in Lowick has been accepted, which means some urgent fund-raising is now needed.

Campaigners thought their dreams had been dashed when their final offer was rejected last month, but there has now been a change of heart from the vendor.

As a result, a public meeting has been arranged for Friday, September 25, at 7.30pm in the village hall to drum up some financial support.

“This is a game changer – the pub could really be ours,” said Diane Chisholm, a member of the Save The Black Bull Inn campaign group. “We now urgently need to raise funds to purchase the pub.”

Hawthorn Leisure, the owners of The Black Bull, put the property up for sale, but campaigners successfully applied for it to be made an Asset of Community Value which means it cannot be sold for any other purpose than as a pub until 2019.

They created a company, Lowick Community Ventures Ltd, which put in an offer of £150,000 plus VAT (£180,000 total) on August 19. This was rejected, but the campaigners were told last Wednesday that all other prospective purchasers had withdrawn and their offer was now being accepted.

“The focus (of the public meeting) will be the business plan and fund-raising for the purchase of the pub,” said Diane. “We really would appreciate it if as many people as possible could find the time to come along, even if you are sceptical about the project or do not want to invest.

“We know that this sort of project can work, it has been done before. There are 34 pubs that have been bought by communities and many more in progress.”

If you want to invest, contact Diane Chisholm (dianekchisholm@gmail.com) or Phillip Hanson (kerncottage@gmail.com) or email savetheblackbullinn@gmail.com