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Campaign to save the Pub


John Moorhouse and Tom Wilkinson who started the campaign to save our pub.
Alton village campaigners are celebrating after successfully raising £270,000 to save their oldest village pub after owners, Marston's Inns and Taverns, closed it for 6 months and then put it up for sale.

How we did it

As a community group we first succeeded in persuading Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to list the building as ‘an asset of community value' to stop the sale for several months while we raised enough money to purchase the pub and re-open it.

This was under the Community Right to Bid, part of the Localism Act, which allows communities to register buildings and land that play an important part in local life.

Some of our campaigners.
The owner looking to sell the building must first inform the council and then suspend the sale for six months - which allows the community the opportunity to raise the funds to purchase the property.

Unfortunately there was another valid purchaser on the scene who put in a bid to purchase, and change the use of the building. We, therefore, had to act really quickly to secure our bid and make sure we did not lose The White Hart permanently.

As concerned villagers, passionate about it remaining as a pub, we decided to form a campaign group to try to quickly raise the £270,000 needed
through pledges, and then share issues and loans, to save the 19th century pub building and allotments. We established the Alton White Hart Community Interest Company with a committee and approximately eighty shareholders, and were very relieved when all the hard work paid off and we could finally open our new community hub with a big celebration. We were delighted when the Earl of Shrewsbury agreed to officially open The White Hart and now its long history can continue…
Photographs courtesy of the Cheadle and Tean Times.

Following the successful purchase and opening of the Pub the Alton White Hart Community Pub was nominated for award.
A report from the Stoke Sentinel can be found here.