Supporters of an ambitious plan to restore a pub in Aldwick will soon have the chance to partly own the business.
The Friends of the Ship Inn are in the final stages of preparing the paperwork which they legally need to formally launch their fundraising.
Roger Beam, the group’s chairman, said the deferral by councillors of One Stop’s proposed deliveries for a new store the building enabled the share issue to go ahead.
“The Friends are grateful and relieved that Arun’s development control committee decided to reject approval of One Stop’s planning application for deliveries to their intended store at the Ship Inn, Aldwick.
“It means they cannot sign a lease with the owners to start their operation.
“It also means that the Friends and The Aldwick Community Society will soon launch a share issue to raise £500,000 to buy the pub site for the community, and revive the Ship Inn as a pub-restaurant.
“We are now finalising our draft share prospectus with the Plunkett Foundation, the charity which supports community businesses.
“We will distribute it throughout Aldwick and publish it on our website – theshipinnaldwick.co.uk – so that people can own a piece of the Ship Inn and have a say in how it’s run.”
The Ship Inn, in Aldwick Street, closed in 2014 and Morrisons received approval that year to change its use into a shop.
The store soon changed hands and became a My Local outlet but that closed nearly four years ago.
The Friends have held two meetings – in September and November – to gauge support for their proposals. Both occasions saw Mosse Hall packed with 150-200 people showing their backing.
Re-opening the pub will cost around £710,000. More than £100,000 of that has been informally pledged by residents.