A POPULAR York pub has made history by becoming the first in the city to be run by its community.

A new era was ushered in at the Golden Ball in Bishophill yesterday when Golden Ball Cooperative Ltd took over the lease at the pub on the corner of Cromwell Road and Victor Street.

About 180 investors have raised more than £75,000 by investing £400 each in shares in return for a say in the pub’s running and an annual dividend of up to five per cent.

Cooperative secretary Peter Kilbane said: “It’s local people doing things for themselves.”

He said the move would put the pub at the heart of the local community, with all profits ploughed back into the Golden Ball.

He said almost half the investors lived in Bishophill, but others lived across the city, and there were also some ex-pats living as far away as India, China, Peru and Norway who had decided to get involved.

He said a new landlady, Karen Cranfield, had taken over following the retirement of Linda and Dave Foster.

The pub, which is Grade II listed, is regarded as having the most complete inter-war layout of any pub in York, having been remodelled in 1929 by John Smith’s and left virtually unchanged since then.

Mr Kilbane said that as well as fulfilling the traditional pub role, the revitalised Golden Ball could also cater for local groups, such as mums and toddlers, or hold coffee mornings. He said the whole community was being invited to come along to celebrate the new era would be celebrated this coming Saturday and Sunday with a weekend-long party dubbed “Get The Ball Rolling”.