Social Investment Business Case Study of the Fox & Hounds

The Fox & Hounds (Denmead) Community Co-Operative Limited* was formed to purchase and re- open the Fox & Hounds public house and restore it to how it was when it served as a focal point for community cohesion. They applied to our Community Assets and Services fund to preserve their future.

Social Impact

Everyone loves a good pint, especially the folks at The Fox & Hounds.

However, with increasing rent costs and property development vultures circling overhead, the tenants and owners of this local pub, which had been a focal point for the local community for over 130 years, decided to close it and re-develop the site.

But it wasn’t ‘last orders’ yet for The Fox & Hounds. With local support for the pub still strong, a co- operative was established with the hopes of buying back the asset. Faced with the prospect of having to raise £500,000 but no money, the newly formed The Fox & Hounds Co-operative needed to appraise the venture to make sure any attempt to regenerate the public house would be financially sustainable.

How we helped

They approached Social Investment Business to help them support their pre-feasibility programme. With our funding, The Fox & Hounds Co-operative were able to evaluate the risk and put a business plan together. Our grant helped the co-operative understand the market value of their property through a survey and professional valuation.

What was the outcome?

Success proved to be on tap. Funding meant the co-operative raised enough money to beat the developers and reopen the pub in 2014, with a live launch covered by the BBC.

Having been officially recognised by the Mayor of Winchester for its community benefit, The Fox and Hounds Community Co-Operative continues to offer a great example of how social investment can help a local organisation realise its potential.

The community group has since been rewarded by CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) and also made the final 4 in the 2016 Co-operatives UK “most inspiring co-operative in the UK award”

The Fox & Hounds’ road to refurbishment –

*not to be confused with S.A.D. Pub Ltd T/A The Fox & Hounds Pub who own and manage the pub business at the property via a lease with the co-operative.

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