Community group to launch share sale to buy historic village pub

Brenda Smith and Sally Bassett at the Racehorse, Westhall

Local artist Sally Bassett putting the finishing touches to the 'Race-track-o-meter' at the Racehorse, in Westhall, overseen by chair Brenda Smith. - Credit: Racehorse Community Pub

A community-run pub is launching a bid to raise more than £250,000 to buy the "friendly" venue.

The volunteers running The Racehorse, in Westhall, are now aiming to raise the funds to buy the pub outright, having fought for a number of years to reopen the popular pub.

From Saturday, shares in the community-run pub will available, priced at £25 each, in an effort to raise £260,000 to buy the pub outright.

The Racehorse Community Pub in Westhall.

The Racehorse Community Pub in Westhall. - Credit: Racehorse Community Pub

The share offer, which runs until mid-July, will be launched this bank holiday weekend, with a range of outdoor events at the pub.

Brenda Smith, who chairs the committee of volunteers who run the pub, said: "Customers have really appreciated the friendly welcome they receive.

"Besides our immediate community, it's been lovely to see walkers and cyclists coming from Halesworth and beyond to enjoy the simple pleasures of sitting outside in the sun and watching the world go by."

Visitors this bank holiday weekend will be able to enjoy a BBQ and hog roast, as well as an opportunity to try archery, a car boot sale and pub quiz, while children can also take part in a fancy dress parade.

Most Read

Local artist Sally Bassett has also designed a share-sale 'Race-track-o-meter' to show the group's progress towards their target. 

With two large marquees, as well as plenty of picnic benches and umbrellas, the Racehorse is prepared to welcome visitors whatever the weather while pub-goers remain unable to drink indoors under government restrictions.

The pub, which is thought to have been running since at least the mid-1800s, closed in 2017, prompting community group Race for the Racehorse to begin efforts to save and reopen the site.

Since reopening under community management, the Racehorse has proved popular for its local beers, well-selected wines and home-cooked food.

But the pub had been open again for less than three months when the first national lockdown came into force in March 2020, with the community-group then establishing a shop to provide cupboard essentials and access to local produce suppliers, as well as a Friday night takeaway food and drink service.

Shares are available to buy from the pub, via the website at and by postal application.