The Fishers Arms community pub project in Northumberland receives £65k boost from Community Ownership Fund
and live on Freeview channel 276
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has also welcomed the announcement as part of the national budget that The Fishers Arms in Horncliffe has been successful in securing £65,000 during the most recent round of the Community Ownership Fund programme.
Following a hard-fought campaign that was backed by a number of famous faces – including Robson Green, Hairy Biker Si King and Kevin Whately – the steering committee for the buyout of the pub managed to exceed its £200,000 target thanks to numerous donations and pledges.
Although the establishment has been taken over by the committee, a further £100,000 is required for the renovations so this award is a major boost in helping the committee get it ready as soon as practically possible.
Its long-term plans include developing a small shop and a post office facility.
A spokeswoman for the steering committee said: “We are absolutely thrilled with this award and we can’t wait to have our darling pub open again and serving the community.
“In order to preserve our funds for this match-funding application, the committee has been unable to spend any money on the refurbishments.
“However, this has not dampened our enthusiasm to begin work on the pub. A team of amazing and dedicated volunteers have been working for weeks in the cold with a temporary electrical supply.
“Everything we have achieved so far has been done with donations of building materials, paint, tools and equipment – but most of all by the hundreds of free hours of work by the committee and our excellent hard-working team of volunteers and helpers.
“Receiving the Community Ownership Fund money takes the pressure off enormously as we can now engage skilled tradespeople to commence work to improve the infrastructure, rewiring, re-plumbing and insulating and, hopefully, completely replacing the entire roof and fitting solar panels.
“Despite being in a much happier place financially, the committee will continue to fundraise and apply for further grant funding to ensure the completion of The Fishers and realise our long-term vision.
“People can keep up-to-date with our progress via our dedicated website – www.fishersarmshorncliffe.org”
Other grant funding has come from Berwick Community Trust, The National Lottery Community Fund and The Prince's Countryside Fund.
Ms Trevelyan said: “I was thrilled to be told by the Chancellor (Jeremy Hunt) that The Fishers Arms had been successful in its bid for Government funding as part of the community’s long-running campaign to save and restore the pub.
“I want to thank the local team for their amazing hard work so far – I know they will use this funding to help ensure The Fishers Arms remains a much-loved asset to the community of Horncliffe for many years to come.”
The Community Ownership Fund forms a key part of the UK Government’s levelling up agenda. It will allocate £150million over four years to support community groups across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to take ownership of assets that are at risk of being lost to the community.