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The Fox pub in Holgate set for £250,000 refurbishment
THE owners of a York pub have pledged to invest quarter of a million pounds in the venue, as residents speak of their desire to turn it into a community pub.
Punch Taverns, which owns The Fox in Holgate, moved to reassure local residents that it was not at risk, despite a brief closure last month following the departure of the then landlord.
A spokeswoman said: "The pub was closed temporarily whilst there was a handover of operators.
“The Fox, which is known for its cask ale selection and fine lagers, reopened four weeks ago and is currently open and trading well. We are planning to invest £250,000 into The Fox on a significant refurbishment and a total upgrade throughout in the new year."
Two neighbours in Holgate have spoken in support of The Fox and contacted The Press last week outlining hopes of buying the venue from Punch, and running it as a community venture.
Tim Moat, who previously campaigned to create a Free School in the area, and Chris Tippin said they were inspired by another York pub which was sold to the community, giving residents a share in the business.
He said: “We are inspired by the Golden Ball [in Bishophill], although theirs was a leasehold purchase and we are looking at the freehold, so we’re talking much bigger sums of money.
“Buying the freehold gives us more options and the pub itself can have different uses at different times of the day. We could even consider a small post office there – The Fox could be a real hub of the community, something which the present set-up doesn’t allow for.”
Mr Moat welcomed Punch’s announced plans and said he hoped it was not “an empty promise”.
He said: “It’s difficult not to be cynical. We know from reading Punch Taverns’ annual report that they have around 4,500 pubs across the UK and they have publicly stated that they plan to dispose of half of them over the next five years.
“News of such a major investment in The Fox is welcome and if that is the case, it will help allay fears that the pub is set to close. Everyone around here will be heartened at the prospect of The Fox returning to its rightful place at the centre of the community.”
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