Puzzle is solved after historic Calderdale pub buy-out
The final piece of the Puzzle has slotted into place after campaigners succeeded in their bid to save the historic Puzzle Hall pub in Sowerby Bridge.
The iconic inn has been in existence for 400 years and its future has now been secured after the group bought the building following a fundraising campaign.
The Puzzle Hall Community Pub Ltd group raised more than £170,000 through around 220 investors, each donating different amounts. The group paid £66,250 for the pub, and is now focused on re-opening the venue.
Committee member Bruce Fitzgerald said: “It’s an amazing achievement to get all these people to pool together and bring it to fruition.
“It’s a massive relief to everyone to get the purchase through.
“Some of the biggest challenges, being a small community group with limited funds, were writing business plans, submitting applications for funding, building a website and learning the ins and outs of Crowdfunder. It’s been a massive learning curve.”
Bruce says they have an architect and surveyors in place to establish what improvements can be made before the grand re-opening.
He added: “The time-scale of re-opening depends on what changes, if any, we plan to make. Given its current state, the pub has been closed over two years and has been targeted by thieves and vandals repetitively, now is the time to prepare for the new Puzzle, just like the old one, but better! It’s likely to be later this year, rather than early.
“We’ll be appointing a manager to run the community pub, they will be supported by the board of directors.
“We have adopted the more-than-a-pub ethos, changing the concept of the building from being just a pub to, to a community hub. We have plans for it to become a focal point of the area, We aim to hold dementia-friendly events, make the venue more accessible to the disabled, run business networking groups, hold multicultural events and, of course, the legendary Puzzfest music festivals.
“We can’t wait to be back up and running again, this time though, we’ll be owned by our community, that gives us a great feeling.”