MP backs village community pub plan

Rob Greenwood, Sandy Potts, David Morris MP and Mary Rose Selman outside the New Inn at Yealand which volunteers want to run as a community pub.
Rob Greenwood, Sandy Potts, David Morris MP and Mary Rose Selman outside the New Inn at Yealand which volunteers want to run as a community pub.

Volunteers who want to reopen their village pub have met with the MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale.

David Morris backed the team from Yealand who want to run the New Inn as a community pub.

The pub has been empty for 18 months but campaigners are raising funds to get it open again.

The team from the New Inn social benefit company will apply for a new Government pot of cash to help with their aim.

Mr Morris said the pub was “a beautiful old building and it’s something that we have to preserve for future generations, not only for the community in the immediate time”.

“It was especially impressive the amount of support from the community that the group have already received,” he said.

“They already have 168 investors and 86% of these are from Yealand and its surrounding villages.

“So often in rural areas the pub is the hub of the community and I look forward to drinking the first pint when then group open the pub again.”

Mr Morris said he would table a parliamentary Early Day Motion backing the plans and talk to pubs minister Marcus Jones.

The team will be applying to the £3.62m ‘More than a Pub’ fund split across 80 community pubs in the country.

The 1680s Lune Valley pub, owned by Robinsons Brewery, closed in 2014.

But the volunteers asked for residents of Yealand and the surrounding area to invest in plans to reopen the pub by buying shares.

A dramatic inflow of share applications and further pledges led the group to extend the application period until the end of March.

Famous supporters of the plan to reopen the New Inn include Supertramp musician John Helliwell and Morecambe-born designer Wayne Hemingway who recently offered to help redesign the pub.