Pub regulars were celebrating this week after their co-operative pub share offer smashed through its target – four days before the deadline.
Around 250 pub fans and people from the wider community have invested just over £130,000 to save the well-loved Fox and Goose, in Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge.
The share offer was launched at the end of June, to run for six weeks – then as momentum gathered the organisers were inundated with requests for more time to invest and extended the share offer to August 12. But a second surge in applications took the total soaring past the finish line before the final deadline, and the offer was closed early (on Thursday night).
Councillor Dave Young, Chair of the Fox Friends Steering Group said, “Everyone connected with the campaign is absolutely delighted. Although we knew there was great strength of feeling for protecting the Fox itself and also our local heritage, the response has been beyond our wildest dreams.
“We’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen, our loyal supporters, the local community, the local media and co-operative organisations – who have all played an important part in helping us get this far.”
The target was set at £130,000 to buy the traditional real ale pub and to cover essential refurbishments – although nothing will be done which would change the traditional character of the historic hostelry.
About half of the investors are from Hebden Bridge itself, with others coming from across Calderdale and the rest of Yorkshire – but there are also funders from as far afield as London, Nottingham, Chesterfield, Stratford and Burton upon Trent.