The new owners of a recently closed pub in Little Thurlow say they plan to reopen the business and make it into a ‘community hub’.
The Cock, in The Street, closed in February after landlady Jane Reardon-Smith decided to retire and put the 17th century pub up for sale.
Villagers, concerned that the pub could be sold to a housing developer, formed a community group and put together proposals to buy the property’s freehold, valued at £400,000, to safeguard its future.
However the group’s attempts were unsuccessful and the pub, registered as an Asset of Community Vale in July, was last week bought by Alex Bourne and his wife Rebecca.
Mr Bourne, who had a career in the army before working for his family’s pub company in London, said the couple wanted to return the business to being at the heart of the community.
“We fully intend to reopen it as a pub with a village shop incorporated into that, selling convenience goods,” said the 32-year-old.
“We want it to be a place with a very pleasant atmosphere, where you can get a coffee and pick up a loaf of bread in the morning and in the evening a wine bar/pub serving light meals, cheese and cured meats. It will hopefully be a community hub.”
Mr Bourne said ‘cosmetic’ work was currently being carried out at the pub, which the couple will live above with their 5-month-old son.
“Rebecca grew up in Duxford, in Suffolk, and I am from Wales and we always wanted to leave London at some point and get back to the countryside,” said Mr Bourne.
“Most people in Little Thurlow are self-employed and we believe that this is something that can work and become a successful amenity.”
It is envisaged that work on the pub will be completed in the next few weeks and the business should be open by the middle of May.