Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, has welcomed an announcement in today’s budget that The George Community Pub in Wickham Market will receive support as part of the Government’s Community Ownership Fund programme. The Chancellor announced the funding for an additional 30 projects through the £150 million Community Ownership Fund.
Dr Poulter and East Suffolk District Councillor Carol Poulter fought hard to secure the money from the Chancellor ahead of the Spring Statement today and are delighted to have succeeded in securing this vital money for the community in Wickham Market. This final chunk of funding will now allow the George Pub restoration project to go ahead.
The funding secured by Dr Poulter has been made available from the most recent round of the Community Ownership Fund programme. The funding provided will be used to allow the community in Wickham Market to complete the restoration of The George Community Pub and provide a new multi-functional space for the community, which will serve as both, a vibrant and sustainable community pub, and as an activity space angled towards wellbeing and inclusivity.
Following a devastating fire in 2013, the historic George Public House in Wickham Market has remained closed ever since, with the community desperate to have it restored and returned as a much loved community pub and asset. Dr Poulter has met with the team of hardworking community volunteers many times, including most recently a site visit in summer 2022 to view progress.
This project is now one of 98 projects awarded funding across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This funding will help save a treasured local asset that will provide multiple benefits for the local community. The government has so far committed almost £24m to projects across the UK to save local assets at risk of closure.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Poulter said “I am delighted that working alongside East Suffolk District Councillor, Carol Poulter, we have secured this money from the Chancellor for the restoration of The George Community Pub in Wickham Market.
“Councillor Poulter and I fought hard to secure the money from the Chancellor ahead of the Spring Statement today and we are delighted to have succeeded in securing this vital money for the community in Wickham Market. This final chunk of funding will now allow the George Pub restoration project to go ahead.
“The demise of the George has been a great loss to the residents of Wickham Market not only as a building of historic and architectural interest but also as the last pub in the village. It is fantastic news that this final piece of funding jigsaw will now enable the project to go ahead and I look forward to visiting The George when it finally reopens its doors to the local community."