Chancellor’s fund brings hope to Kirkby Malzeard pub campaigners


Last updated Mar 17, 2021
Photo of David Robinson
David Robinson, chair of Henry Jenkins Community Pub Ltd.

Campaigners wanting to refurbish and reopen the Henry Jenkins Inn in Kirkby Malzeard have received a glimmer of hope.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new £150m Community Ownership Fund in this month’s Budget.

The fund lets community groups apply for £250,000 matched-funding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost.

This fund, which will save some pubs from permanent closure, has been welcomed by the Henry Jenkins Community Pub Ltd.

Its 190 members have pledged £236,000 in a bid to turn the derelict building between Ripon and Masham back into use as a pub and community facility.

HJCPL chair David Robinson told the Stray Ferret:

“The government has decided to recognise the importance of protecting community assets.

“This fund acknowledges the difficulties faced by volunteer groups, particularly in rural areas, in raising the necessary funds for projects that could provide essential support for the lonely and vulnerable.”

Photo of the derelict Henry Jenkins Inn

Part of the building is still on the market.

“HJCP will need to examine the detail, but cautiously hope that the newly-available funding can be added to the toolkit.

“In the near future we will place another purchase bid with the owners and open discussions with Harrogate Borough Council about a compulsory purchase order.”

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David Fielder, who purchased the closed-down pub out of receivership in 2012, is willing to talk to the campaign group.

He said:

“The western portion of the building belongs to me and remains on the market for sale or rent.

“Offers must be fully unconditional and any potential purchaser will be required to prove funds are available.

“This will need to be by way of a copy bank statement or an unconditional letter of credit from a UK-based recognised lender.”

Last year, the pub campaigners suffered a bitter blow at a planning appeal.

The Planning Inspectorate, which deals with planning appeals, overturned Harrogate Borough Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for conversion of the eastern part of the Henry Jenkins site into a single dwelling.

HJCPL had been confident that the council’s decision would be upheld, but planning inspector Helen Hockenhull was not persuaded by their argument.

In her report she concluded:

“There is no reasonable prospect of the public house reopening.”


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