West Yorkshire’s first-ever community-owned pub is celebrating its tenth birthday with a long weekend of festivities this month.

Plunkett UK member, The Fox and Goose in Hebden Bridge, marks the milestone on 21-25 March with events such as a mini beer festival showcasing the pub’s favourite local breweries, DJs, live music, food, and an anniversary quiz.

Customers can taste special-edition collaboration brews reflecting the pub’s co-operative status, and buy anniversary t-shirts and merchandise.

The pub – which is on the site of a medieval alehouse – was saved from going out of business in March 2014 when a group of regulars raised £130,000 to buy and repair the much-loved local, whose future came under threat because of the owner’s deteriorating health.

The community share offer to buy the traditional pub attracted investment from 250 people, including regulars, local investors and pub enthusiasts all over the country.

Later share offers increased its ownership to almost 300 members, while a current, open share offer is growing membership even further.

The Fox and Goose has thrived under community ownership since its rescue, winning new support from those who appreciate its warm welcome and traditional surroundings.

The pub has twice won the CAMRA Halifax and Calderdale Pub of the Year award, earning praise for its knowledgeable staff, the quality and diversity of its ales and beers, its eclectic programme of music and events and a new, converted outdoor space.

The Fox and Goose employs 13 staff who are all paid a minimum of the Real Living Wage. Manager Hannah Thurman, says, “Our team is excited to be celebrating the contribution of Fox and Goose members, staff, customers and suppliers to the success of the pub over the last ten years. This is a chance to say ‘thank you’ to the community who together saved the pub and to welcome new members and customers.”

Hannah Nadim, The Fox and Goose Society Chair and a Plunkett UK Adviser, adds: “Over the past ten years the pub has grown its reputation as a friendly, co-operative, sustainable pub, known for its quality and range of beers and drinks.

“We are delighted that our much-loved pub can be run for the benefit of the community, and we hope the community will join us to celebrate.”

When the Fox and Goose’s purchase took place in March 2014, it was Yorkshire’s first co-operative pub and one of only 43 community-owned pubs in the UK.

Plunkett UK now supports 180 pubs across the UK (about a quarter of the total of community-owned businesses), meaning the number we help has more than quadrupled in the last decade.

We can help

Plunkett UK provides practical advice, business support and training to help communities like this one in Hebden Bridge establish and run innovative and inclusive businesses that make a positive impact for local people.

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