Support for pub buy-out plan

A public meeting is being held in Helpringham to discuss plans to buy the village pub, the Nags Head.

A public meeting is being held in Helpringham to discuss plans to buy the village pub, the Nags Head.

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A public meeting on Wednesday night has shown its support for a bid to buy a village pub.

The Save Our Nags group, started and led by Mikaela Timmerhues, has put a temporary hold on the sale of their local pub in Helpringham, The Nag’s Head, by owners Enterprise Inns, by having it listed as an asset of community value while they attempt to buy it.

A public meeting is being held in Helpringham to discuss plans to buy the village pub, the Nags Head. EMN-150520-114833001

A public meeting is being held in Helpringham to discuss plans to buy the village pub, the Nags Head. EMN-150520-114833001

Over 50 people attended a public meeting at Helpringham Memorial Hall on Wednesday to explain how villagers can run it as a not-for-profit co-operative pub.

There was a presentation by a representative of the Plunkett Foundation, which has been advising the seven-strong committee - Alan Collard was pivotal in the establishment of a co-operative shop, pub and brewery in his village of Toppesfield, Essex.

Zoë Watson, Secretary of the Save Our Nags group gave a presentation on the scheme’s feasibility by means of selling community shares, mortgage and grant funding. She said withdrawable community shares can pay interest of up to two per cent above the base rate - investors should also be able to claim back income tax.

The meeting concluded with a lively question and answer session, followed by a majority show of hands supporting and willing to invest. The committee and attendees visited the Nags Head, which is still open for business under a short term lease.

Pledge forms will now be delivered to houses around Helpringham to assess the level of interest in investing.