The Garsington Community Benefit Society Ltd has been awarded support from More Than A Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme

A campaign to save a much-loved Oxfordshire pub from closure has been awarded support from More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme.

The ‘Save The Three Horseshoes’ campaign will receive a package of specialist business advice and a £2,500 bursary from More than a Pub, a programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England. Its value is £2.2 million and is funded by Power to Change. It is being delivered by Plunkett Foundation in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, Key Fund, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Locality.

 “We’re delighted to have been awarded support from More than a Pub,” said chair of the Parish Council, Chris Wright. “We will use this bursary to pay legal fees and other costs we incur as we prepare a bid to buy the pub.”

At one time, Garsington had three pubs, but over the years two of them closed and became residential houses. When Greene King decided to sell the last remaining pub, a number of people in the village started to work on a plan to buy it for the community. Over the past months, a community benefit society has been established that aims to purchase and safeguard the Three Horseshoes for future generations. There has been an overwhelming level of support for this project and they are well on the way to achieving their target figure. 

Plunkett Foundation’s James Alcock, Executive Director for Plunkett, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to support the Save the Three Horseshoes campaign, who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings. Pubs that are owned and run by the community are so much more than a place to buy a drink; they provide important social spaces and services for local people, and are central to their community’s sense of place and identity.”

Between now and October 23rd, when the bid must be submitted, the management team are working hard, making sure they have completed the necessary financial and legal hurdles. With an eye to the future, they are also planning to be as ready as they can to take over the pub should their efforts be successful.