Suffolk

Washbrook pub The Brook bought by villagers

The Brook, Washbrook Image copyright Back The Brook
Image caption Back The Brook said volunteers from the village were ready to decorate the pub

Residents have raised £373,000 to buy the only pub in their Suffolk village amid fears it would close after a national chain put it on the market.

About 90 people have bought shares to raise enough money to buy The Brook at Washbrook, near Ipswich, for £290,000 from Punch Taverns.

The company they formed, Back The Brook Ltd, still has shares for sale to reach its target of £400,000.

It said that would allow it to buy new curtains, carpets and toilets.

Image copyright Back The Brook
Image caption The pub near Ipswich had remained open during the sale process

Back The Brook Ltd was formed in 2013 by a group of local directors who felt the future of the pub was in doubt after Punch put it on the market.

Keith Armes, one of the directors, said: "People were sceptical that we would be able to raise the money, but it's been a real village effort to save our only pub.

"We were inspired by Sorrel Horse in Shottisham, which villagers there bought using a similar business plan.

"People in Washbrook are volunteering to do some immediate painting, we've got a new manager and chef and will remain open throughout."

Shares were sold for £250 each and the remaining 108 are still available to investors.

The directors said they would be holding a celebration party at the pub on 27 September.

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