(L-R): Giles McCourt, associate solicitor in the real estate team at Muckle LLP, Carol Wilkinson, chair of the SCPS and the rest of the society celebrating outside The Travellers Rest.
(L-R): Giles McCourt, associate solicitor in the real estate team at Muckle LLP, Carol Wilkinson, chair of the SCPS and the rest of the society celebrating outside The Travellers Rest.
Austen Shakespeare

Closed north Yorkshire pub rescued by community and set to reopen

Residents in a North Yorkshire village are toasting success after a 12-year battle to save their local pub.

The Travellers Rest in Skeeby, near Richmond, called time in 2008 and has stood empty ever since, following a planning battle involving its owner and Richmondshire District Council over its conversion into housing.

The Skeeby Community Pub Society (SCPS) was formed to fight the change of use planning application and gather support for the purchase and renovation of the Travellers Rest as a village pub and community hub – run for the benefit of the residents of Skeeby and visitors to the area.

On January 17, 2022, the group’s perseverance paid off as they were handed the keys to the building after the sale was completed by leading North East law firm Muckle LLP.

Under the ownership of the community the Travellers Rest will be remodelled and fully fitted out ahead of its much-awaited reopening. The pub will sell ales from local brewers, good quality food using local suppliers where possible and provide a venue for traditional pub sports and games, community events, celebrations, and music.

The SCPS now own the land and buildings and are looking to agree a lease with a tenant to run the licensed business.

To date, the group has sold over £200k of shares to over 160 people, mostly locals including Richmondshire MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, but also from as far away as Quebec, Canada, and Sydney, Australia. The group has also benefited from Richmondshire District Council’s Community Investment Fund.

Shares are still available to purchase as it’s expected that a further £60k will be required to complete the refurbishment works.

Carol Wilkinson, Chair of the SCPS said: “It has been a long and challenging process but finally we have completed the purchase of The Travellers Rest. This is a momentous day and one that would have not been possible without the help and support of an enormous number of people.

“Heartfelt thanks go to our legal team at Muckle LLP for their perseverance, The Plunkett Foundation, for their advice and guidance, Richmondshire District Council for having the confidence to award us a CIF grant and of course our shareholders and supporters whose patience and faith has been astounding.”

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