A campaign group has been successful in saving Ye Olde Cross, one of the last remaining pubs in Ryton village, by raising £250,000 to buy the community pub.
Local residents have been working on a strategy to purchase the pub, affectionately known as ‘The Cross’, since it last closed its doors in early 2018. Ryton Cross Community Society (RCCS) Ltd, a Community Benefit Society, was set up in June 2018 to allow local residents and interested supporters to support the campaign and buy into the RCCS by purchasing shares, the proceeds of which would go towards the purchase of The Cross.
More than 300 people have come together to successfully raise the £250,000 required to purchase their village pub. Fundraising will now continue to raise a further £40,000 to fund refurbishment works before the pub opens.
Ye Olde Cross has been a Ryton community landmark since the 19th Century and is entrenched in the village’s history and heritage, having formerly been the go-to venue for functions after weddings, funerals and Christenings at the local Holy Cross Church. Plans for The Cross include reinstating it as the place to go for personal events, as well as being a hub for community events and programmes, meetings and business gatherings. RCCS also plan to re-introduce Carols at the Cross and The Hirings, popular community events synonymous with The Cross that have had to be put on hold in previous years.
The community pub model is a proven success – more than 60 community pubs in the UK have rescued struggling business, and not one has closed since. Profits will go back into the pub and the community to help tackle issues such as isolation and loneliness as well as offering work experience.
RCCS instructed Newcastle based Mincoffs Solicitors to provide legal advice relating to the acquisition.
David Cox, Associate Solicitor at Mincoffs commented: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to advise Ryton Cross Community Society Ltd on the purchase of Ye Olde Cross, particularly as I’m a Ryton resident myself. I look forward to seeing refurbishment works take place to enable the pub to reopen as soon as possible for the benefit of the whole local community”
Ted Euers of Ryton Cross Community Society Ltd added “It was, and is, a delight working with Mincoffs; and not just because they’ve supported our campaign to save the Cross by keeping their costs to a bare minimum. There were a number of challenges, especially the timetable – effectively we had to start the purchase process before we were certain we would meet our fundraising target. Throughout, David Cox and the team at Mincoffs were flexible, supportive, acted quickly, offered options and always went the extra mile for us.”