Celebrations planned for community-owned pub’s first birthday

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The only community-owned pub in West Yorkshire is celebrating its first birthday as a co-operative this month.

The Fox and Goose, in Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge, reopened as a co-operative on March 22, 2014, after a community share offer raised £130,000 to buy and refurbish the premises.

It is now owned by 262 shareholders from the local community as well as beer and pub fans from across the UK.

Chris Greaves, chairman of the board of directors, said: “The co-operative model works incredibly well. The pub has gone from strength-to-strength since it was bought by the community, thanks to the hard work of our whole team and the consistent support of our loyal regulars and shareholders.

“As improvements have been made and the word is getting out, we are also attracting more and more new customers and visitors from further afield. Now we are really looking forward to celebrating our first birthday in time-honoured style and welcoming everyone – regulars and shareholders, the local community, visitors and beer lovers – to join us in our celebrations.”

A month-long programme of celebrations at the traditional real ale pub was kicked off with the launch of a specially-brewed birthday beer, the aptly named ‘Co-hoperative’.

The 3.8 per cent golden blonde beer has been created for the occasion by Mallinsons Brewing Company of Huddersfield, using hops selected by assistant manager Cayn White and the pub regulars.

The Fox and Goose was bought by the local community after being threatened with closure due to the landlady’s ill-health.

There are now 33 co-operative pubs across the UK currently listed by the Plunkett Foundation.