A formal offer has been made this week for the community purchase of the Henry Jenkins.
A fully-funded offer was made to the owner, David Fielder, on Monday morning by the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op’s agent. The offer is for the full market value of the pub in its present condition, as determined by a professional Valuation Report.
The Community Co-op, officially recognised as a properly-constituted community group by Harrogate Borough Council, have issued a press release saying: “Mr Fielder has already indicated he would be prepared to consider a community buyout – we hope he will seriously consider this as a genuine offer made in good faith.” Proof of full funding will be made available via the group’s solicitor following formal acceptance of the offer.
The offer to buy the pub comes as local volunteers are in the process of carrying out an Opinion Survey in Kirkby Malzeard, Laverton and Dallowgill to gauge support for plans for the regeneration of the Henry Jenkins as a family bistro, coffee shop and real ale bar with b&b accommodation. Residents are also being asked to comment on options for possible additional services such as an artisan bakery, a micro brewery, a retail outlet for local crafts people or a sub post office.
The group has secured a £2,500 bursary grant from the Plunkett Foundation, the charity that allocates Government funding and provides expertise to help community buyouts. It is also eligible to apply for up to £100,000 in grants and loans from Plunkett. However, it is envisaged most of the money for the proposed purchase and refurbishment should be raised through the issue of community shares.
Plans for the demolition of the 250-year-old pub and redevelopment with housing were unanimously rejected by Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee in February following more than 90 letters of objection and a 150-signature petition. In July the pub was listed as an Asset of Community Value under the 2011 Localism Act, following evidence pointing to the pub’s pivotal role in the local community. For as long as the Henry Jenkins is listed as an ACV, it cannot be sold as anything other than a community facility – and ACV listing is not due to expire until July, 2022.