CAMPAIGNERS fighting to reopen a much-loved pub have launched a share scheme to raise cash to buy it for the community.
The Stanley Arms, in Pemberton Street, Blackburn, could be transformed into the hub of the community if the £150,000 needed to buy it is raised by interested parties.
The pub was closed in August by Marston’s brewery because it was no longer financially viable.
Residents immediately started to look into the possibility of reopening the pub, which first opened in 1901, under community ownership.
Leading campaigner Siobhan Coyne said: “We have made real progress since the campaign started and we are now at the stage where we need to find out how we can raise the funds needed to buy the building from the current owners.
“We have lots of ideas like holding a breakfast club, craft workshops during the day, youth activities and reinstating the community pub.
“It will be run as a cooperative and we have launched a share scheme to enable local residents and other supporters to buy into the future ownership of the Stanley Arms.
“We are looking for expressions of interest to help buy the pub. So far we have around £7,000 pledged.”
Letters were send to residents near the pub but campaigners say anyone can join in.
Roe Lee ward councillor Phil Riley said: “This share issue is not restricted to residents living near the Stanley Arms.
“The pub has been at the heart of the community for a long time. People are supportive of a community running the pub. The committee is awash with ideas about what they could do. We can make this work, we just need to raise the money.”
The group is currently drawing up a business plan and the Save the Stanley Group will meet again this month to discuss their progress.
The minimum share-holding is £100 and the maximum allowed by law is £20,000.
Each shareholder would be entitled to one vote to choose the committee who will manage the pub on a day-to-day basis as well as the chance to influence the development of a new and vital community asset.
The group said they would apply for a small loan for any funds they still need.
For details on how to join the campaign, ring Jason Walker on 07743 101 067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.