PLANS have been launched to put a Winsford pub into community ownership.

Campaigners are hoping to secure the future of The Gate Inn on Delamere Street by encouraging residents to pledge their support

in the same way that De Bees building was saved.


former nightclub, now renamed The Hive, is set to become a community cinema, live music venue and community asset.

A public meeting is being held at The Gate at 7pm on Thursday, December 19 to discuss a similar initiative.

"This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to both safeguard The Gate's future and to create a source of community finance to benefit the Over community for as long as the pub stands," said Damon Horrill, of Weaver Valley Cooperative.

"It can be done. The Hive proved it with De Bees. Grants and loans are available to support a community share offer. Shareholders become members and will get paid at least three per cent interest a year."

The Gate Inn was reopened in 2012 by Cornerstone after previous tenants struggled to run the business and has now been sold.

The Over Charitable Community Benefit Society is now being formed to buy The Gate and develop community projects in Over.

"The only way to genuinely secure a future of any pub is for that pub's community to outright own it so locals always have a final say," said Damon. "Given our mission to help pubs become community owned and The Hive's recent success with purchasing De Bees into community ownership we decided to give it a go.

"The new owners have now agreed to sell the pub to the community. Although the pub was not officially for sale they liked the idea and have accepted an offer and given a period of six months exclusivity.

"We've paid millions in rent to corporate landlords over the last 20 years so if only we'd been born into a world where pubs were already in common ownership, the millions would have benefitted Winsford not lined elite pockets around the world.

"If we can achieve this in our time we will have done something remarkable for future generations."

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It is hoped that The Gate will be bought and paid for by the society with help from grants and loans withi an asset lock in place to ensure it is never sold or over rentalised again.

"After five years the society will have repaid any finance and be profiting by about £25k a year to invest in member determined projects and initiatives that directly benefit the community in Over," added Damon.