It’s a dream for many people to own their local pub, but 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 accounts 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.”
Two years on and the faith in the Gibbons’ plans and their drive and determination to succeed have 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.”