A newly-formed group aiming to reopen the last pub standing in Lawrence Weston has issued a call for action in the community as it steps up its bid to buy the site.
The Lawrence Weston Community Pub Community Benefit Society is applying for funding and is commissioning architects as part of its plan to purchase and turn The Giant Goram in Barrowmead Drive into a community-owned pub.
The society has already had an offer of £250k rejected and will be watching closely when the pub goes up for auction on September 14 - but members are confident the site will not sell at the £325,000 listed price and they will get another opportunity to purchase it.
Meanwhile, members have started enquiries over funding from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund and the Co-op’s Community Shares Booster Fund. They also plan to raise money through the issuing of shares in the local community.
And there are also plans for a DIY SOS-type programme where members call for help from local tradespeople to help refurbish the pub if they are successful in buying it.
In an update given to Bristol World today (August 5), the society said its aim remained the same; to reopen site as a ‘family friendly’ pub run by and for the community which could also be a base for local hobby groups and educational courses.
Society director Jo Sergeant said: “We are at the stage where we want to issue a call for action to people in the local community to get involved.
“We’d like as many people to get on board as possible, to come along and express an interest and say what they want to see of the pub. The more people come and join us the faster we can make things happen.”
The society’s rejected offer for the pub did come with a condition that the sale would only be completed once the money had been raised - but with more funds in place, the group’s offer could be more attractive to the owner, Hawkfield Homes.
The company maybe also more inclined to consider a new offer if it is unable to sell at auction in September - something society members believe is likely.
Ms Sergeant said: “We are of the view that the chance of the seller getting a good price at auction are quite slim. That is because the pub has a Asset of Community Value listing and a local community which strongly oppose any plans to turn it into homes.”
Hawkfield Homes did have its own plans to knock down the pub and build seven homes turned down by Bristol City Council in 2020, and then a subsequent appeal against the decision dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate last year.
That appeared to be the last straw for the developer which initially put the site up for auction for Feburary, but that was stopped when the society members got the pub listed as a Asset of Community Value, meaning they had six months to buy it.
That deadline has passed, but members are still hopeful they can purchase and reopen the pub, first opened back in 1960
To find out more about the campaign to reopen the Giant Goram, visit Save the Giant Goram Facebook page, or email [email protected]