MP support for bid to buy village pub

Shailesh Vara is the MP for North West Cambridgeshire.

Shailesh Vara is the MP for North West Cambridgeshire. - Credit: SHAILESH VARA

North West Cambs MP Shailesh Vara has paid a visit to The Lion Pub, in Ramsey St Mary’s, and says he supports the local community in their bid to purchase the establishment.

Mr Vara was joined by Ramsey Mayor and Huntingdonshire District Councillor Steve Corney. They met with local resident Micky O'Donoghue who explained that a committee had been formed to take the project forward. 

Residents and local businesses will be offered the opportunity to buy shares in the pub and the committee hopes to work with the council and also secure Government grants.

Following the visit Mr Vara said: “I was pleased to hear of this initiative. As well as serving as a pub, The Lion will be able to provide residents with a venue for various other local activities.

"Moreover, the share scheme will offer everyone the chance to get involved in this enterprising local venture."

Cllr Corney added: “I’m very pleased to be supporting a new group that are looking to set up a community pub in Ramsey St Mary's by purchasing the Lion, which has been empty for several years now.

"They plan to use the Plunket Foundation as a model and sell shares to members of the public to fund the purchase as well as the refurbishment creating a community owned business and focal point for the village.” 

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According to Mr O'Donoghue the emphasis will be on The Lion being a community pub and a focal point for local residents.

The Lion’s facilities include rooms which could be used for a variety of other activities, such as coffee mornings, a place for learning groups and mother and baby groups.      

Micky said: "The shares will be open to everybody; it won’t just be Ramsey people. Individuals, businesses, whoever wants to get involved, we’re not going to rule anybody out at the moment.” 

"If anybody is interested in the shares, details will be announced shortly."

 He added: "Everybody wants it because there is no community centre in Ramsey St Mary’s Heights itself or no hub at all, and the emphasis will be on it becoming a hub of the community. I think it will be fantastic."

Micky said that 12 people have agreed to join the committee, including some "prominent" people, to help achieve the ambition to purchase the pub as a community.