AN historic pub is set to have its future decided next month after years campaigning to keep it as a community asset.

Members of the Henry Jenkins Community Pub group have presented a petition to Harrogate Borough Council signed by more than 500 people calling on the authority to list the pub as an Asset of Community Value.

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Residents have been battling for five years to save the pub in Kirkby Malzeard after part of the 18th century building was delisted as a community asset, paving the way for other development.

The petition was presented at a Harrogate Borough Council meeting last week where Richard Sadler, a member of the community group, appealed to councillors to do everything within their power to save the pub.

He held up pictures contrasting how the Henry Jenkins looked in 2012 when it was bought by the present owner compared to its current dilapidated state.

The Northern Echo:

The pub has fallen into disrepair

Mr Sadler said: “This pub is right in the centre of the village – opposite the village hall – and it’s been an intrinsic part of the village’s history, culture and identity for hundreds of years.

“It used to be a very popular pub and restaurant with local people and was also becoming increasingly popular with walkers and cyclists from across the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"The only reason it failed is because it had absentee owners with no interest in the village who failed to invest to keep it to modern standards.

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“We have no doubt the Henry Jenkins can be viable again as a community-owned pub.

"This could transform our village – and all profits would go back to the local community.”

Earlier in the day, villagers dressed in “Henry Jenkins” hats and beards collected more signatures from shoppers in Harrogate town centre.

The council is expected to decide next month whether or not to list the whole pub as an asset of community value.

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