Villagers who saved The Plough Inn in Longparish, Hampshire are celebrating today after being given a major award by The Campaign for Real Ale.
CAMRA’s Pub Saving Award recognises the efforts of the village to rescue the pub from developers and turn it into a thriving pub and community hub.
The Plough dates back to 1721, but on Christmas Eve in 2015 it closed its doors – seemingly for good. However, local people banded together, lobbying planning officers to deny planning permission to turn the pub into a residence. A community share scheme attracted over 300 investors from the village and elsewhere – and with the additional help of grants and donations, with the help of the local parish council, the village bought the pub in February 2021.
Months of incredibly hard work to completely refurbish the property inside and out followed. Three hundred years after it first began trading, The Plough Inn was once again at the heart of the Longparish community.
Andy Jolliffe, chair of Longparish Community Pub Ltd said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to have been recognised by CAMRA in this way. It’s been a huge amount of work and responsibility bringing our beautiful pub back to life. It was possible because of the way local people brought their many and varied skills and their dedication to the project.
“Our aim in taking over the Plough Inn has been to provide something that is more than a pub – it is also a vital community hub. We are so delighted that The Plough is thriving again – as a popular destination pub and a truly valued community asset.
CAMRA’s Paul Ainsworth said: “Huge congratulations are in order for the dedicated villagers who have saved the Plough Inn in Longparish. Pubs play an irreplaceable role in bringing people together, and the decision to purchase and run a pub as a community is a real commitment to preserving its future for generations to come. It is a real privilege to be able to highlight these efforts. Well done to everyone involved.”
The award will be presented by CAMRA’s local representatives at a celebration party for all the supporters, volunteers and customers at the Plough Inn on Friday Jan 6th.