Hundreds of shareholders stake claim in 'best pub in Britain'

The Locks Inn in Geldeston, and Graham Elliott, chair of the Locks Inn Community Pub.

The Locks Inn in Geldeston, and Graham Elliott, chair of the Locks Inn Community Pub. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa/Brittany Woodman

More than 500 shareholders have seized a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to own part of the "best pub in Britain."

Less than a month after a community share issue was launched, the landmark target of 500 shareholders have now invested in the Locks Inn Community Pub, in Geldeston.

The pub was bought by the group for £405,000 at the 11th hour ahead of an auction in October, with a community share issue then launched in January.

Graham Elliott

Graham Elliott - Credit: Nick Butcher

Now, Graham Elliott, chair of the Locks Inn Community Pub, has set a "revised and ambitious" target of 1,000 shareholders, with five weeks left.

He said: "We are delighted with the response to our share issue so far but we still have a long way to go if we are to ensure the financial sustainability of our community pub.

"Having achieved broad ownership, the attention is switching to raising the full share capital of £600,000. Currently, we are almost halfway to this target, so there is still a long way to go.


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"If the full share capital is raised, we will be able to repay our loans, invest in vital improvements and refurbish the pub ready for a spring opening.

"We urge people not to be complacent and to come forward and invest in our iconic pub.

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"It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a founding member of this amazing community project."

The group aims to "secure the irreplaceable 300-year-old heritage of the iconic pub, reinforce the pub's role as a buzzing cultural hub for Norfolk and Suffolk alike, reinvigorate the pub as a thriving venue for musicians and music lovers, serve the best quality local food and drink, and create the greenest, fairest, best pub in Britain".

Members of the community group outside the Locks Inn, in Geldeston.

Members of the community group outside the Locks Inn, in Geldeston. - Credit: Graham Elliott

They also hope to welcome "story-tellers practicing their art by candlelight", as well as hosting theatre productions and art exhibitions.

The community share issue closes on March 15, with shares set at £50 each, with a maximum investment of £50,000, while investors will benefit from tax relief under the EIS scheme.

The pub has been closed since Grain Brewery left the site in September following previous owner Lee Bellis' decision to retire after 16 years.

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