Campaigners looking to buy their village’s last pub are well on the way to achieving their dream.
Chairman of the Save the Blue Bell at Stoke Ferry group, Stephen Ward, said on social media this week the owners had agreed to sell the pub and negotiations were underway. A structural survey was conducted this week.
Enough money has been raised to buy the premises, but Mr Ward said around £80,000 was still needed for refurbishment.
A community share scheme offer, launched towards the end of last year, is due to end on Sunday and has so far raised more than £80,000 – attracting 250 investors worldwide.
Mr Ward said this, together with support from the Plunkett Foundation, meant they had enough to buy the pub.
The campaign received another celebrity endorsement this week when cricketer Ryan Sidebottom took to social media to give his support in a tweet.
Campaigners said they were “totally bowled over” by the former England international’s message.
At the end of last year, celebrity support for the campaign came from actor and writer Stephen Fry who grew up in Norfolk.
The aim is to renovate the pub, starting next month, and turn it into a community hub offering a cafe, food, village archives, prescription service, a base for local clubs and more.
It is hoped the pub will be able to re-open in the summer.
Campaigners still hope to attract more investors as the appeal remains open.
See the website www.bluebellstokeferry.org to find out more or get involved.