A campaign has started in Dalton-le-Dale, near Seaham, to save the 19th century Times Inn after the brewery closed it and decided to sell up.
The people want to buy it and turn it into a community hub, a place for everyone to meet with friends, socialise, be creative and more.
They’ve had a public meeting on February 29, where the members of the society explained how people can join them as shareholders and why this is an important thing to do as a community.
Rachael Clark, treasurer of the Times Inn Community Society said: “There’s a unique opportunity for you to have a real share in a community asset. We’d expect that in time the pub will be making a profit.”
They have been working with the Plunkett Foundation, which specialises in helping community businesses.
A group of people with a vision created The Times Inn Community Society. They need to raise £150.000 to buy the pub from the brewery and some more money for the refurbishment.
Everything started when Mark Laybourne, the chairman of the society passed the Times Inn and decided it would be a good idea to save it.
Mark said: “I was a bit sorry for it, I have lots of memories attached to it. It occurred to me that I can do it. This is what we started, we want to turn it into something that’s there for everybody, so that we can all have some memories of the place.”
Angela Sandwith, a member of the society said: “My vision for the pub is, I would like it to be a community space. I’d like it to be a community pub, I would like it to be a plastic free pub. We can hold creative workshops, we may have an art workshop, a dance workshop, we could do writing. The list is endless. It could light the creative spark in everybody”.
The pub was built in 1820 and it has a cellar below that dates back in the 17th century. When the community gets the keys, they are looking to use the whole place to its full potential.