RESIDENTS trying to save a pub in Risinghurst have called for more people to join their cause.
The Save The Amp group has started to contact Oxford businesses to see if they would like to invest in shares of the Ampleforth Arms.
The Collinwood Road pub, which used to be a popular watering hole for Narnia author CS Lewis, was closed in June and put on the market for £625,000 by owners Punch Taverns.
But its sale was halted thanks to the Save the Amp group which has registered the ale house as an asset of community value, and they are now trying to raise enough cash to buy it.
The members of the group are creating a viable business plan, and a fundraising page has been set up to kickstart the campaign.
Save the Amp chairwoman Lyn Simms, 55, who has lived in Risinghurst for more than 30 years, said there was a lot of positivity about buying The Amp, but added there was still a lot of work to be done before their deadline in February.
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She added: “We have set up an easyfundraising page which raises money for our cause when people go shopping online.
“If they go through the website to buy an item from a shop which is signed up to their scheme, then the shop donates a percentage of money from the sale to our cause.
“It’s a start, but we are currently finalising our business plan and I have a meeting with the finance director at Oxford City Council to get some advice on the next steps.”
So far the group has gained more than 300 members on its Facebook page and has applied to various bodies for grants. Easyfundraising.org.uk raises money for charities, schools, and community groups by shopping online.
It works by shoppers going through the easyfundraising website to access individual shops to buy the items they want.
Once the purchase is made – with no extra cost to the customer – the shop is told that the person came to their website from easyfundraising and then the store makes a donation to the customer’s specific cause.
The size of the donation depends on the agreement each store has with easyfundraising.
Mrs Simms added that the group was in the process of approaching business firms to become shareholders as well as private investors.
She said: “We are trying to make up the money in a variety of different areas.
“We are in the six-month period so the pub will be a community asset until February so we need the funds by then. Anyone who would like to invest and save our local pub can join us.”
Oxford city councillor for Risinghurst Chewe Munkonge said having the pub reopened would benefit the community.
He added: “Pubs all over the city are struggling, but if the community can raise enough money to buy the pub it would be great.”
* To contact the Save The Amp group email firstname.lastname@example.org.