Just days left to 'Save The Earl' pub at Chawleigh

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Friday 19th February 2021 10:44 am
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Allan Worden, chairman, the Earl of Portsmouth Preservation Society outside the Earl of Portsmouth at Chawleigh, which the Society hopes can be saved as a village pub.

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A COMMUNITY campaigning group which is attempting to buy a village pub has just days left to raise the funds required.

The community of Chawleigh learned in late June 2020 that, from having two thriving pubs just a few years ago, it might have just one by the end of the year.

The Earl of Portsmouth had closed in November 2019 and there was an application to allow it to be turned into housing.

A group of concerned residents rallied together to oppose the change of use and to ask Mid Devon District Council to make the Earl an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

The council did that in August.

The community has until February 25 to raise enough money so that it can make an offer to the owner of the Earl to purchase the property.

David Flavin, from the Earl of Portsmouth Preservation Society, said: "Our intention is to re-open it as a Community Pub ie a pub owned by the community and run for the community.

"We are hoping to raise at least £225,000 by means of a community shares offer.

"Our financial wizard has come up with a detailed business plan which, together with our Community Share offer document, have been submitted to the Community Shares Organisation for scrutiny.

"We are delighted to announce that both have been approved and we have been awarded their Charter Mark. This should give potential investors added assurance and confidence that they have all the necessary information prior to investing in the future of our community."

The society says that the position of the rural pub in particular, within the community cannot be overstated.

It says it is the place where all can meet on equal terms, for a party, a musical event, a great value meal, a quiz or just a drink in comfortable surroundings.

Such venues are a place where people can welcome other pubs’ pool, darts and skittle teams and share some fun.

It adds that there is increasing evidence from university research that the rural pub adds to the health and happiness of the local community and mitigates against loneliness and isolation, an increasing problem exacerbated by Covid.

A "Save The Earl" flyer has been distributed to nearly 6,000 homes and businesses in the area to appeal for people to back the campaign financially.

If you are interested in having a share in a pub which is close to your own community and, which in the past some of you may well have been into, then email: [email protected] for more details or visit the website: savetheearl.org.uk or telephone 07704 515060.

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