Muckle LLP Helps Residents Call Time on Local Pub Closure

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Muckle LLP helped residents and supporters of the George and Dragon in Hudswell create an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) to raise funds to buy and refit the pub. The Hudswell Community Pub Initiative (HCPI) successfully invited over 150 local people to become members of the IPS by investing a minimum of £500 each. The project also received £50,000 finance from the Rural Access to Opportunities Programme, along with £20,000 of investment from the Key Fund Yorkshire.

Muckle expertise for community gain

Joanne Davison, associate solicitor at Muckle LLP, said: “We have worked closely with the HCPI since its inception, starting with initial advice on the various legal options for saving the pub. Creating an IPS is a great opportunity for communities to pull together to save local services, particularly in the current marketplace.

“Muckle’s Charities team is highly experienced in advising on various legal structures for community projects, including an IPS. We helped by including guidance on appropriate legal structures, the different ways in which to engage the local community and the content of the required legal documentation. The property team at Muckle also supported the HCPI regarding the purchase of the pub.””

“This is a fantastic project as it has helped local people unite and save a pub which was at the heart of their local community. I’d like to wish them every success moving forward with the project.”

Village initiative an example to rest of UK  

Martin Booth, board member on the Hudswell Community Pub Initiative, said: “The George and Dragon is the only pub in Hudswell, so its closure had a great impact on the local area.

“Muckle advised us to create an IPS for community benefit and this structure really was the best one for encouraging people to get involved, because every member has an equal say and it is clear that the prime purpose is the benefit to the community rather than private profit. The advice we received from Muckle has been second to none throughout the whole of this process as we were able to access an array of legal expertise in a number of areas, from commercial to property law.

“Although we now own the George and Dragon, we still need more investment to improve the building, so anyone who wants to become a member and a part owner of a traditional Dales pub is welcome to get in touch with us. We have now become the third pub in UK to have successfully been saved by their local community with an IPS and I really believe that this model could provide the answer to the problem of village pub closures.”

For further information please contact Joanne Davison on 0191 211 7958 or alternatively email us at [email protected]