New community-owned pub launched with local MP’s support

PUBLISHED: 14:18 09 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:22 09 February 2015

(Left to right) Pheasant manager, Sarah Cowley, local resident, John Pickup, CEO Shropshire Housing Group, Jake Berriman and MP, Philip Dunne

(Left to right) Pheasant manager, Sarah Cowley, local resident, John Pickup, CEO Shropshire Housing Group, Jake Berriman and MP, Philip Dunne

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MP for Ludlow, Philip Dunne, joined Neenton Community Society and its partners and supporters for the official launch of The Pheasant, Neenton’s new community-owned pub in the heart of the village.

MP for Ludlow, Philip Dunne, joined Neenton Community Society and its partners and supporters for the official launch of The Pheasant, Neenton’s new community-owned pub in the heart of the village.

Describing the new pub as an exemplar of what rural communities can achieve, Philip Dunne MP said: “The Pheasant’s journey is so inspirational. It’s the tale of a few people having a gem of an idea and the determination and commitment to encourage a whole community to take a bold risk and invest nearly £1million in a project to help bring their village back to life.

“With backing from Shropshire Housing Group and Shropshire Council they have formed a charitable Society and had the foresight and vision to create this outstanding new pub which is an incredible treat and joy for all to enjoy.”

The Pheasant prior to the launch was a derelict pub, closed since 2006. Now refurbished and reopened, with a new management team at the helm - Mark Harris and Sarah Cowley - the intention is to create a real country local, renowned for superb Shropshire food and hospitality. It’s impressive Oak Room doubles as a community room when the pub is closed or trade is quiet.

Jake Berriman, chief executive of Shropshire Housing Group, which is helping to fund the project through creating seven new homes on a neighbouring site, including two shared ownership added: “We are so pleased to have been involved and been allowed to share in the experience in an open and very transparent way, to help create this new hub for the village. We are sure the pub will have a long term future, in a community that may long continue to flourish.”

John Pickup, a local resident who has led the project from the beginning, praised the can do attitude of all those involved: “We managed to assemble a magnificent team, mainly from local people, who have given their time, experience and positive spirit, sometimes up against all odds, to help make this happen. We must now build a business with our talented managers, Mark and Sarah, who we are confident will take our dream and make it the future.”

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