The sale of Orleton’s Boot Inn to a Community Benefit Society after it closed for 18 months has been completed.

Paying tribute to all those who supported the campaign to save the Grade ll listed buildings from housing development, Chair of the Society John Alderman said:

“We have received invaluable support from so many individuals and organisations without whom our vision to return the Boot to its former glory and indeed to turn it into ‘More than a Pub’ could not have been achieved. The ‘new’ Boot could include a daytime cafe with free WiFi, a meeting place for special interest groups, a venue for festivals and whatever else supports our community. Special mention must go to all our investors whose belief in the project and generosity exceeded our expectations.

The scheme to buy shares in the project is still open to any individuals who have missed out and the more invested the less we have to borrow to complete the refurbishment. Also, thanks to the Plunkett Foundation, an organisation that helps communities, particularly in rural locations, to take control of and overcome challenges that threaten their prosperity and well-being and last but not least, Herefordshire CAMRA,  who have provided expert advice and support all along the way.”

Now, the hard work begins to immediately protect against any further damage and then refurbish the buildings. The immediate priorities include repairing the roof, replacing windows and shoring up the listed ‘single cell building’ reputed to be the smallest dwelling in Herefordshire which was occupied until 50 years ago.

The aim is to be ready to open for business sometime during the summer. Ahead of that will be the task finding and appointing a tenant to manage the business.

John Alderman added, “we also need a big clean-up operation to clear and tidy the site and property and are planning a fun weekend, hoping for lots of volunteers!

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