The Drovers Inn Pub

In November 2014 The Drovers Inn in Dorset, previously owned by a large commercial brewery, closed. The local community had not been given any notice of the pub’s closure and were upset about losing a valuable community space. They came together in December of that year to understand how they might stop the property from being bought by a housing developer. The local council informed them that they would need to provide a viable business proposition in order to successfully fight the change of use planning application, so the community developed a robust business case and quickly learnt how they could raise funds to buy the pub.

Following support from the Plunkett Foundation, the community established themselves as a legal entity, the Gussage Community Benefit Society Limited (GCBS), listed the pub with their local council as an ‘asset of community value’ (ACV) and established their intent to bid. This legislation allowed GCBS a six-month moratorium during which the property could not be sold to private investors.