Express & Star

Residents in fight to save historic pub once voted West Midlands Pub of the Decade

A community is rallying around in a bid to save a historic pub from permanent closure.

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Residents can help save The Bell

Residents of Pensax and the surrounding area have formed a working group to save The Bell, which closed its doors in October 2022 having served the local community for over 180 years.

Having achieved Asset of Community Value status for the pub in December, the group now plans to sell shares and purchase The Bell through a Community Benefit Society.

A public meeting held in Abberley Village Hall this month with more than 150 local residents present to hear about the proposed community purchase.

David Chambers, from Worcestershire County Council, District Councillors Douglas Godwin and Paul Cumming and several members of Pensax Parish Council including Chair, Stu Meese also attended.

Toby Wise, Chair of the working group said: “We were overwhelmed by the support from everyone.

"We were even receiving pledges to our website before the meeting ended.

"This is our one chance to buy The Bell and run it for the community.

"Our thanks to Mark Haslam from The Brewers Arms community pub in West Malvern, and to Nick Comley from Community First in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, for their ongoing support and advice."

The Bell is well known for its excellent selection of real ales, warm welcome and beer garden with fantastic views.

It has traditionally held a hugely popular summer beer festival and was once voted “West Midlands Pub of the Decade” by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale).

Anyone aged 16 or over can go to Shares will be £250 and each individual can pledge to buy a minimum of one share (£250) up to a maximum of 100 shares (£25,000).