A community-led campaign to save Stonesfield’s last remaining pub, hit its first £100,000 milestone after a week of fundraising – but there is still a long way to go to hit the target of £420,000.

The #backthewhitehorse community share sale presents is a unique opportunity to buy a stake in The White Horse and ensure it is not sold to developers. 

Steve Callaghan, Chair of the Steering Committee, said: “We are pleased with the start we have made. Residents and supporters have given us strong endorsement that we are on the right path with the bright vision we have for the future of the pub. 

“Robert Courts MP has lent his support, as has the management team at Blenheim, but our target is still a long way off, so we need all the support we can get from our friends and neighbours.

“Those outside the village will always be welcome at the pub and we would be delighted if they want to buy some shares as well.”

He added: “The White Horse can be so much more than just a pub, serving everyone in our community and as a destination for all. We just need to save it and bring it into community hands.”

The Stonesfield Community Pub team has proposed an exciting vision for the pub based on a community survey carried out in August. This is backed by a robust business plan to deliver a secure future.

Simon Warr from the campaign added: “We obviously hope that the new lockdown will not impact on our efforts. People can buy shares in Stonesfield Community Pub and make donations either on-line or by sending cheques and we are holding public meetings via Zoom. We have continued to see donations come in all this week since the Government announcement of the next lockdown.”

The Plunkett Foundation’s “More than a Pub” scheme has worked with the Stonesfield group and awarded them the share standard mark. 

From as little as £50, you can become a shareholder in a Cotswolds pub, sitting in a beautiful rural setting, popular among walkers, cyclists, and people seeking to experience a traditional, warm atmosphere. Unlike private ownership, shareholders will be able to have their say and vote on the future of the pub.  

The share sale prospectus, share application forms and the business plan for The White Horse are available from www.backthewhitehorse.com

SARAH EDWARDS

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