About The Green Dragon
Exelby is a small rural village situated in the lower dales of North Yorkshire about three miles from the historic market town of Bedale.
The Green Dragon has always been at the centre of community activity, and the pub is well used by local residents; increasingly it has also now become a popular destination pub for visitors. For most villages, a pub is a vital service: it is a meeting place, communication centre and an important lynchpin of village life. Much of the appeal of Exelby as a closeknit village rests on its sense of community
When the Green Dragon was put up for sale the community successfully applied for the pub land associated with the pub to be listed as an Asset of Community Value and with no interest from other potential purchasers, the community came together to mount a successful bid for the property. The future is now firmly in the hands of the community and the Exelby Green Dragon is now much more than a pub. Photo credit: www.andy-matheson.com/ Many different events and social activities are run with the support of the volunteers and the current tenants. As well as the bar and restaurant there is also a delightful café and a well-stocked delicatessen.
A great deal of support for a café was found during community consultation. It was felt that a café would work in harmony with a deli shop and the restaurant in driving food sales, minimising food wastage and contributing to sustainability and the overall business model.
A housing needs survey and local questionnaire indicated that there was a clear need for affordable housing in Exelby. An adjoining 18th century cottage, which had been left to deteriorate, originally part of The Green Dragon’s ladies facilities, provided an opportunity.
With guidance from Hambleton District Council, funding was secured from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and with the addition of local support Exelby’s first community led housing project was achieved. This high quality housing with an affordable low cost rent is for people who live in or work local to Exelby and it is not just for now but for generations to come.
Exelby Green Dragon Community Pub Ltd raised the money to purchase the pub, extensively renovate the premises and the adjoining cottage by issuing shares at £500 each. This raised a total of £345,000 funding.
Hambleton District Council provided £45,000 from their Community Housing Fund. £35,000 was used for legal setting up costs, a feasibility study and development (including materials and labour). A further £10,000 was needed to cover the unexpected cost of a new roof.
The garden will encourage residents, both young and old, to come together and share ideas in a safe and welcoming space; this will help to counter loneliness with activities and resources that promote wellbeing in the community.
This will include:
• A community vegetable patch; a space for the existing gardening club and where other enthusiasts can grow vegetables, herbs and propagate plants. This will encourage the sharing of knowledge and skills combined with healthy eating.
• The Book Swap: a covered area to encourage reading in the garden
• A Safe Space comprising an enclosed area at the top of the garden with seating and planting to stimulate sensory awareness. It will be an informal space ideal for meeting up for a chat or quiet reflection.
• Bike Library – following the pub’s successful inclusion on the route of the Tour de Yorkshire, Exelby now has its own place on the cycling map!
• The pub will offer a selection of maintained bikes for free use by the community so that everyone can experience the iconic route, encouraging health and fitness for all the family.
• It is estimated that works to the area and facilities will cost in the region of £10,000 with the addition of volunteer labour supplied by the village!