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Karen Bradley MP Column 27.11.23

We have many fantastic pubs across the Staffordshire Moorlands but this week my 26th Reason to Visit the Moorlands is three of our community owned pubs: The Auctioneers Arms in Caverswall, The Royal Oak in Rushton Spencer and The White Hart in Alton.

Community ownership was introduced in the 2011 Localism Act to make sure that assets like pubs could be saved for our towns and villages. The first local pub to come under community ownership in the Moorlands was the Royal Oak in Rushton Spencer and I was delighted to be able to help the team from the village to buy the pub.

The success of the team in Rushton was just one inspiration to residents in Caverswall, who were determined to save the landmark Auctioneers Arms for the village. Again, I offered my support to the fundraising team and was thrilled when they raised the money to buy the pub.

Of course, it’s more than just a pub, it is a real community hub. As well as the traditional pub menu and real ale, the pub offers coffee and tea with lovely cakes and pastries and is somewhere for people to come and socialise throughout the day.

On a recent visit to the White Hart, I heard how the pub was saved from closure 9 years ago and acquired as a Community Interest Company with 72 shareholders who are local residents from Alton and the surrounding area.

The team are ambitious for the pub, improving the beer garden and growing their own vegetables onsite. It gives locals what they want because they own it.

These three pubs are shining examples of what a community can do and the many events and charities they have supported are testament to everyone’s hard work. All three, great Reasons to Visit the Moorlands!

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