Although the building that now houses The Dog Inn Community Freehouse is several hundred years old, its recent history is possibly one of its most interesting and dramatic. On 9th November 2014, the pub closed its doors for what could very well have been the last time. The owners at the time were unable to find a suitable landlord so in February 2015 put the pub and adjoining land up for auction. That sale was completed in early March and Belthorn’s last remaining pub had actually closed its doors for the very last time… or had it?
In the background, Kathryn Sharpe (the current secretary) along with a few dedicated villagers started to look at registering the pub as an Asset of Community Value and arranged a community meeting in the school hall to gauge support. Discussions and a meeting were held with the new owners (Ribble Valley Luxury Homes Ltd) in March 2015 and an agreement in principal was reached for the community to acquire the pub. A business plan was made, Limited company established and the share offer issued with the hope that £180,000.00 could be raised to buy the pub and have some working capital.
In June 2015, sufficient funds had been raised to enable our acquisition to proceed and contracts were signed. There then followed a delay whilst some technical issues were resolved but on 2nd September 2015, contracts were exchanged. There then followed some intense work on refurbishing the bar area and on 15th November 2015, the pub once again opened its doors…another chapter in the long history of the building…and so it continues, with plans to open a shop, community and meeting rooms, establish community gardens and refurbish the restaurant…there are many more chapters to write.
The Dog Inn (Belthorn) Ltd is a Community Benefit Society (number 7095). Please click here to view the Society rules.