The community needs to find £75,000 (Image: Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)
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Today the Mirror is asking our readers to get behind The Trawden Arms in Lancashire, the last pub in its village, which will close in four days unless we can raise the last £75,000.
If successful, Trawden will be the first village in the UK to have a community-run pub, shop, library, hall, and post office.
Mirror readers who donate will be entered to win money-can’t-buy prizes if the pub reopens, from naming rights to a blue plaque behind the bar, to a specially commissioned beer named after them from a local brewer (including limited edition tins to be sold with the winner’s face on them).
Mirror Editor Alison Phillips said: “After a year of isolation for many of us, we all feel more than ever the value of social connection and the importance of keeping these community hubs alive.
"Many Mirror readers may never set foot in this particular pub but we know they’ll love the chance to support a community working together to keep what’s theirs.
“If successful, we hope this campaign will prove to people all over the country that victories can be won, even during these challenging times.”
The campaign is part of the Mirror’s long-running Save Our Pubs campaign, calling on policies to help pubs weather the storm of a challenging few years, in particular the recent string of lockdowns.
Landlord Martyn Whitaker
(Image: Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)
This week the ONS released figures showing that less than a quarter of pubs currently open are confident that they’ll survive the next three months.
The Trawden Arms community is fundraising with the help of The Plunkett Foundation, who provide guidance to communities attempting to secure local businesses for community ownership.
This year they have reported a 50% increase in queries from communities trying to save their local pubs.
The community has already raised almost £450,000 through a combination of crowdfunding, investments from locals and grants.
Steve Wilcock, 67, has lived in the village his whole life, and his dad was the local grocer. He is now chair of the group of trustees.
Steve said: “The pub is the heart of the community and it would be a tragedy if it was to close.
"It is a lifeline for many who live alone. It is a place for the community to meet, socialise and catch up.
“My dad would be thrilled that we managed to keep the shop going but he would be so sad if we were to lose the pub.”
Mick Horne, 53, added: “The village doesn’t need much of an excuse to congregate in the pub.
“In 2009, Burnley reached the championship play-off final and there were 80,000 people in Wembley to watch them promoted to the Premiership for the very first time.
"It seemed like about the same number packed into the pub afterwards to celebrate.”
Resident Molly Ralphson, 47, said: “It isn’t just the community and social aspect of the pub that is important.
“It is the impact on the local economy too. We have lots of B&Bs and holiday cottages around here, anyone booking a holiday wants to have a pub they can walk to.
"If the pub goes, then those business lose out.”
Jack Holland, 28, only moved to Trawden last November – and one of the main reasons was because it had a pub.
He said: “Every village needs a pub and Trawden ticked that box when we were looking to buy. We’d be devastated to see it go.”