Under threat Fenland pub gets a new lease of life thanks to a community that saved it
PUBLISHED: 18:02 13 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:37 02 June 2010
A PUB under threat of closure has been reborn after the local community stepped in to save it. Just two weeks ago, The Cock Inn was scraping the barrel and preparing to call last orders. But punters were not prepared to see the local in March High Street
A PUB under threat of closure has been reborn after the local community stepped in to save it.
Just two weeks ago, The Cock Inn was scraping the barrel and preparing to call last orders.
But punters were not prepared to see the local in March High Street go down to the recession and hatched a plan to keep it going.
Businessmen Chris Kirby and Kerry Rutterford stumped up cash to keep the beer flowing and other companies chipped in to refit the premises at no extra cost.
The result is an all-singing, all-dancing venue with toys, computer games and garden activities to suit the whole family.
Chris said: "When we heard the pub was to shut, we did not want it to go.
"We went to see what we could do and said "Let us have it".
"Kerry and I are now running it between us not to make anything out of it but just to keep it going.
"Once it is firmly on its feet, we hope to sit back and let it run itself. We just want to give it a good push start."
The pub, managed by Aaron Boxall, has certainly gained rapid momentum since the new landlords took over in April.
Gone is the bland outdoor area and in is a thriving pub garden with space for the kids to run around and play.
Bouncy castles from Chris' company, Kirby Kastles, have also been set up to provide entertainment and barbeques are put on every weekend.
During the summer, The Cock Inn also plans to sell ice creams and sweets to make it a dream trip out for the younger generation.
Chris said: "The garden is a huge advantage for the pub. That is what is going to bring the customers in and, ultimately, keep the pub open.
"There is nowhere else people can go in March to sit in the garden and let the kids run around while enjoying a drink.
"The focus is on making this a place where the family want to go in the summer."
The indoors has been repainted and TVs installed to give the pub a more modern look as the World Cup approaches.
People will be able to watch football games as the Premiership season draws to a close and a Nintendo Wii has been set up for video games evenings.
The pub has also become a hit on Facebook as punters spread the message about the improvements.
Yet despite turning the ailing pub around, Chris says it is the customers who deserve much of the credit.
He said: "People have helped us to redecorate and haven't charged us. The pub feels a lot more personal and community-orientated than other venues.
"We have had really good feedback from members of the public. I'm sure we can make it work.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Wisbech Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.