The Craufurd Arms

When the Craufurd Arms in Maidenhead looked set to close, a group of determined locals got together to see if they could save the popular pub, known for its good beer, darts and crib teams, and sports TV. They formed an action group, conducted a local survey and harnessed a place on the More Than A Pub programme, which was set up in 2016 to support community ownership of pubs in England. This two-year programme is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Power to Change, and is delivered by the Plunkett Foundation.

We gave specialist advice and support to the Craufurd Arms via the Plunkett Foundation, assisting the group in setting up a Community Benefit Society and developing the business plan and share offer. The community share issue opened in February 2017 and raised £310,000 from 226 people investing sums between £250 and £25,000 (and included a Big Society Capital match of £100,000). With a grant from More Than A Pub, and a loan from Co-operative & Community Finance, the Craufurd Arms Society was able to proceed with the purchase of the pub – and on 26 June 2017 the Craufurd Arms became the 50th co-operative pub in the UK.  It has ambitious plans to develop into a community hub with services and facilities beyond the traditional role of a local pub.

Mark Newcombe, Chairman of the Craufurd Arms Society Limited, said: “Although this is an urban setting, the Craufurd feels like a village local. There used to be six pubs in this part of Maidenhead and now this is the only one. We’ve done this to safeguard the future of the community. The pub has always been popular but it suffered from under-investment. Under community ownership we will be investing the surplus in improving the pub. And with the support of well over 200 members I’m sure it is going to be more popular than ever.  We are very excited and proud to be the 50th co-operative pub in the UK and are grateful for the support and advice we received from the Plunkett Foundation, I am sure without them we would not have been able to achieve our dream of bringing our pint-sized pub into community ownership.”

A Community Pub in Maidenhead