Dorset - - Pho­tog­ra­pher Of The Month -

It’s a dream for many peo­ple to own their lo­cal pub but it it’s not a sim­ple process to buy a free­hold. How­ever, thanks to the as­sis­tance of Bricks Fi­nance, one lovely spot in an idyl­lic Dorset vil­lage is pop­u­lar and thriv­ing.

The num­ber of vil­lage pub clo­sures has been a sad statis­tic of mod­ern times, but when the Rose and Crown in Long­bur­ton, Dorset, was threat­ened with the axe, the com­bi­na­tion of Bricks and a pas­sion­ate pair of pub­li­cans saved the day.

Becky Gib­bons and her hus­band, John, were res­i­dents of the vil­lage just out­side Sher­borne and she had ex­pe­ri­ence in the pub trade al­ready. So, when their char­ac­ter­ful lo­cal pub looked like it might close they wanted to act and take on the free­hold.

The trou­ble was fi­nanc­ing. With­out three years’ worth of trad­ing they could not raise money in the tra­di­tional way, mean­ing their dream might have been dashed.

That was when they were put in touch with Bricks and a so­lu­tion was found. And Becky is en­thu­si­as­tic about what a dif­fer­ence that in­ter­ven­tion meant.

Becky ex­plains: “We couldn’t have done this with­out Bricks, to be hon­est…their role has been vi­tal in get­ting us to where we are now.

“We just wanted to save our vil­lage pub as it’s such a great place and vi­tal to the com­mu­nity and yet we couldn’t show we had ac­counts for the past three years. The banks just didn’t want to know when it came to lend­ing us the money to buy the free­hold.

“It has been a re­ally easy process bor­row­ing the money with Bricks and it took away any prob­lems we might have had buy­ing the pub. It’s our dream come true.”

Three years on and the faith in the Gib­bons’ plans and their drive and de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed has cre­ated a win­ning for­mula which means the pub has gone from strength to strength.

Becky adds: “It’s hard work, of course, but we have got the pub back on its feet and it’s go­ing well.”

In­deed, with their son, Kai, also on board as part of the team they are now look­ing at ex­ten­sions to the busi­ness - such as pop-up bars - to add to the mix of ser­vices they can pro­vide.

“It’s been re­ally pleas­ing to see it all come to­gether,” en­thuses Becky. “Bricks have been amaz­ing and we are so grate­ful for all they have done to work with us on this. With­out them I doubt we would have saved the pub for the vil­lage.”

Rose and Crown land­lady Becky Gib­bons, her hus­band John and son Kai at the 2016 Taste of Dorset awards when they were fi­nal­ists in the best com­mu­nity pub cat­e­gory.www.rose­and­crown­long­bur­

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