Residents join forces to save their village pub


RESIDENTS fighting to save their village pub have launched a community group to keep it open.

Earlier this year, Corsenside Parish Council received a notice from the county council about the potential closure of the Gun Inn in Ridsdale.

A meeting organised by residents John Bassett and Alison Thomson, which around 40 people attended, was held in a local barn due to the village’s lack of community spaces, where it was agreed to launch a campaign to keep the pub open.

A community group called ‘The Ridsdale Community Group Limited’ has since been formed to seek ways of securing the future of the pub as a community hub, providing services and amenities to the local community.

The group has acquired funding through the Ridsdale Village Hall Fund and the Ray Wind Fund for the initial administration and conducting a building survey.

However, a further £250,000 needs to be raised to purchase the pub and carry out essential repair work.

The Ridsdale pub was put up for sale by its current owners, Liz Askew and Michael Rutherford, earlier this year and they hope to complete a sale by Christmas. But residents fear it could close and be converted into a private house.

A survey, created by the steering group, was completed by 50 households who suggested what the pub’s building could be used for.

Answers included a tea room, convenience store, post office and also the host of book groups and craft classes.

Chairman of the group John Bassett said: “We are determined we can make the Gun both a successful business and hub for the community long into the future.”

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By Bill Edgar @CourantBill