RESIDENTS are invited to secure the future of a Winsford pub in a unique deal that could generate £20,000 a year for the community.

The Over Community Benefit Society has been offered the opportunity to buy The Gate Inn and the land for community ownership in the same way that De Bees building was saved.

There will be a period of six months exclusivity to give the society time to raise funds through grants, loans and a community share offer.

A special meeting is being held at the pub on Delamere Street at 7pm on Thursday, February 4 for any residents interested in getting involved in the project.

Over ward Cllr Damon Horrill said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to both safeguard The Gate Inn's future and create a source of community finance to benefit the Over Community forever.

"The Hive has shown what's possible with their successful share offer to buy De Bees into community ownership.

"Grants are readily available every step of the way to help communities on this journey."

Over Community Benefit Society founding member Elisha Smith said: "The society will be constituted with model cooperative rules which feature a strong asset lock that will prevent The Gate Inn and the land from ever being sold again.

"It will ensure the rental income from the trading of the pub is only ever used to benefit the local

community without private interests, as decided by members of the society.

"The local community will have the final say in how buildings owned are used today and in perpetuity."

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The pub will be purchased with the benefit of a 10 year year 'free of tie' lease in place with the Winsford

based employee owned pub company Weaver Valley Cooperative.

Elisha added:"The Over Community Benefit Society has a guaranteed rental annual income of minimum £25,000 from day one.

"This is not only a sustainable level of annual rent for the tenant, it is also enough for the society to fully

repay any loans that may be required within ten years, after this time it will enjoy a guaranteed budget of

over £20,000 a year for community benefit projects.

"This is something we’re positive further generations will appreciate."