Sam Dixon MP
Sam Dixon MP

Community pubs are the beating heart of social interaction and communal spirit, but they are not immune to challenges and economic pressures. They continue to adapt, embracing innovation while staying true to core values. 

One such pub is The Centurion in Vicars Cross, and they are currently in need of your help.  

The Centurion pub has been a steady fixture in Vicars Cross since it opened in 1966.  It is very much a pub run by the community for the community. 

In 2015, current owners Admiral Taverns acquired the freehold of the site, but shortly afterwards closed the pub with a view to sell to developers.  However, this sale fell through when the developers failed to obtain the require planning permission for their planned development.  

That is when the local community rallied together to re-openthe pub themselves under a community benefit society, Centurion Community Action Group (CCAG) under a lease agreement. The pub reopened in September 2016, and has enjoyed 7 years of successful trading. 

The goal of the CCAG has always been to secure the long-term future of the pub for the local community which contributes to a vibrant and thriving Vicars Cross.   

They now have an opportunity to purchase the freehold of the site from Admiral Taverns to secure its future as a community run asset for an agreed price of £600,000. 

The CCAG have been successful in their bid to the Community Ownership Fund and have been awarded a grant of £250,000 towards the purchase of the pub.  As part of the requirements for the grant, they need match part of the funding and are currently aiming to raise £175,000 by the end of March via their share offer.  Shares can be bought by individuals, businesses, syndicates or you can also make a donation to the cause without being a shareholder. I recently visited the pub to talk to the team behind the fundraising and I will certainly be purchasing a share.  

The pub has made great progress so far with just over £110,000 being raised towards the target. But the clock is ticking for the remaining money to be raised. 

To find out more about the share offer, you can collect an information pact from the pub directly, download from their website, or request a copy via email 

A Go Fund Me page has also been set up as another option for people to make donations:  

If you can do so – let’s help this fantastic community pub.  

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