The historic community takeover of an upper Calder Valley pub is expected to take place next week after months of negotiations.
Last year a community share offer raised £130,000 to save the Fox and Goose pub in Hebden Bridge. And while the final touches have been put to the paperwork on the purchase a pop-up bar was installed in the building on Heptonstall Road.
When the takeover is complete the pop-up bar will be taken out to enable minor renovation works to be undertaken. That means all the beer bought to supply the temporary bar will have to be used up at the weekend.
After that, contracts will be exchanged and the Fox and Goose will officially become West Yorkshire’s first co-operative pub.
Coun Dave Young, a director of the Fox and Goose (Hebden Bridge) Ltd – the society set up to buy and run the pub for the community – said: “This is incredibly exciting – after two years’ hard work we are nearly there. Now we just have a few more important things to do.
“The first is to get down to the pub this weekend from Friday night onwards, and help to finish up the beer which the Pop-up Fox still has in stock.”
Once the purchase has gone through, the refurbishment of the pub will be done. The directors are working to keep any closure to a minimum so have decided to carry out a ‘DIY SOS’ type make-over, aiming to relaunch as the co-operative pub on Saturday March 22.
This will involve a wash and brush-up, repainting, some new furniture and replacing the beer pumps. The plan is then to carry out the bigger refurbishments such as wiring and heating during closing hours where possible to minimise disruption to customers.
To help the team manage the work, anyone who is able to assist during the week commencing March 17 is asked put their name down with the staff at the Fox or notify the directors via email or Facebook.
For more information, visit www.foxandgoose.org.