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Community group bidding for Craufurd Arms could receive £65,000 loan from Royal Borough

A bid to buy a beloved pub and bring it into community ownership could be boosted if councillors approve a loan of £65,000.

Customers of the Craufurd Arms, in Gringer Hill, have tried to raise money to buy the for-sale watering hole since last year amid fears it would shut.

The Craufurd Arms Society Ltd (CASL) smashed its fundraising target of £270,000 by last week.

It submitted a ‘substantial bid’ today to the Wellington Pub Company, according to the CASL chairman Mark Newcombe, who said he was ‘really pleased’ with the loan deal.

Royal Borough councillors will be asked to approve the five-figure sum at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, March 23, at the Town Hall in St Ives Road.

The money, which has been requested by CASL, will support the group ‘whilst VAT issues are dealt with’, a council report said.

Mr Newcombe suggested he may ask for a small increase in what the council plans to provide.

It will be a short term loan, repayable after three months at a rate of 5 per cent per annum.

The report states the social motives behind the bid ‘are in line with the Borough's social initiatives to tackle loneliness and social isolation, particularly in the elderly’.

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