Hereford & Worcester

The Dolphin in Bishampton saved by £300,000 government loan

The Dolphin pub
Image caption The Dolphin was put up for sale in March but villagers wanted to find a way to buy it themselves

A village pub has reopened after the parish council secured a £300,000 government loan.

The Dolphin in Bishampton, previously owned by Enterprise Inns, went on the market in March for that sum after being run by various landlords.

Villagers asked Bishampton and Throckmorton Parish Council if it was possible for the community to buy the pub.

Parish clerk Michelle English said the council would not make a profit.

The pub reopened last week under the new landlord, Lee Jones, after 30 volunteers worked to clean it up.

'Incredible response'

Mr Jones will pay the council rent in order for the loan to be repaid to the Public Works Loan Board, a government body that lends money to local authorities.

A small sum of money from the rent will be put aside to pay for any maintenance needed on the building.

"It's no different to borrowing money from a bank," he said.

"The response has been incredible, we had about 300 people in last Saturday and it has been full each night since then.

"We know will have to work hard through the winter to sustain that success, though."

Ms English said some villagers had been concerned council tax would go up.

"As long as we can get the rent from the landlord to cover the rent then the council tax will not go up," said Ms English.

"Residents are so keen to support the pub because they know if it fails then there is a possibility that could happen, but we have reassured them it won't."

She added only one person objected to the plan to buy the pub, at a meeting of 100 people.

The parish council also bought the village post office in 2011.

More on this story