Pub launches £150,000 share scheme amid sewerage fears

The Locks Inn pub in Geldeston, and Graham Elliott

The Locks Inn pub in Geldeston, and inset Graham Elliott. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa/Brittany Woodman

Fans of a community pub are being urged to dig deep to buy shares in it as it revealed sewerage issues had put its future in doubt.

The Locks Inn Community Pub has launched a community share scheme with the aim of raising up to £150,000 to fund essential infrastructure works that will ensure its "long-term viability".

The Geldeston Locks Inn beer garden, just outside of Beccles.

The Geldeston Locks Inn beer garden, just outside of Beccles. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The pub, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, in Geldeston near Beccles, had been bought by a community group for £405,000 with emergency bridging loans ahead of an auction in October 2020.

The group launched a successful community share issue in January last year, offering people the chance to secure its "irreplaceable 300-year-old heritage" as it sought to pay off those loans and make major investments.

Back then, 1,400 members of the community stepped up to become shareholders as the target of £600,000 worth of shares in the Locks Inn was reached.

Now, a supplementary share issue has been launched to raise up to £150,000 to fund essential infrastructure.

geldeston locks inn pub

The Geldeston Locks Inn pub has been a community pub since last year. - Credit: North East Suffolk CAMRA

Graham Elliott, chairman of The Locks Inn Community Pub, said: "This includes a mains sewerage connection for which planning permission has recently been secured.

"Without a fully compliant sewerage solution the future of the pub is in serious doubt.

"The pub is now owned by 1,400 shareholders and has been substantially improved without damaging the unique character of the building.

"The pub is now thriving and is a magnet for visitors and local people alike with its tranquil riverside garden and its reputation for live music."

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Home to a wide range of traditional and unusual events such as maypole dancing, dwile flonking, conker championships and solstice celebrations, live music is held three times a week.

Dwile flonking at the Locks Inn, in Geldeston, in 2022.

Dwile flonking at the Locks Inn, in Geldeston, in 2022. - Credit: Hannah Cairns

Mr Elliott added: “This is an opportunity for those who missed the original share issue to come on board and also an opportunity for existing shareholders to increase their investment.

"The investment would be in the form of 'Community Shares' which are eligible for EIS tax relief yielding an immediate 30 per cent return on the investment for UK income taxpayers."

To become part of the project visit its website or contact Graham Elliott at members@thelocksinn.com or 01502 714661.

This share offer is open from now until September 21.

Shares cost £50 each with a minimum purchase of one share and a maximum of 1,000.