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MP supports community’s £450,000 bid to buy and run the village pub





NIGEL Huddleston, MP for Mid-Worcestershire, joined villagers in Cleeve Prior at an open day to promote their attempt to buy the currently closed Kings Arms pub via a community share scheme.

The pub was opened in 1542, the same year Mary Queen of Scots was born and Catherine Howard was executed but it has been closed since September 2023.

Over 100 people turned out at the Cleeve Prior Village Hall last Saturday to find out about development plans that include revamping the pub’s barn, car park, beer garden, bar area, restaurant and four-bedroom accommodation.

They were also able to ask questions about the share scheme and make pledges or donations. On the day, over one thousand pounds was donated to a fighting fund and over 40 people expressed an interest in buying additional shares.

Nigel Huddleston MP raises a pint of beer in support of the campaign by Cleeve Prior villagers to buy the Kings Arms pub.
Nigel Huddleston MP raises a pint of beer in support of the campaign by Cleeve Prior villagers to buy the Kings Arms pub.

The total pledged so far is £110,000 but it’s hoped that number rises in the next week because of the event.

There is also a donation website running on crowdfunder.co.uk that has raised £2,296. So far, a grant of £50,000 has been awarded by Wychavon UK Shared Prosperity Fund to go towards renovations but more grants have been applied for.

The target amount needed to purchase and open the pub is at least £450,000.

Mr Huddleston said: “I have frequented the pub myself and know how important it is to the community. The very best way to protect the future of this beautiful Grade II listed pub is for it to be community owned and run on a not-for-profit basis.”

Brian Williams, chair of the Kings Arms Steering Group, said: “It was fantastic to have Nigel lend his support to our mission to save this historic building and a vital part of our community. Many people rely on the pub as a social support hub and without it our village will lose its beating heart.”



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