Pub to repair thatched roof thanks to Lottery grant
PUBLISHED: 19:04 15 January 2020
An historic pub that was bought out by a group of regulars is to repair its thatched roof after securing £9,700 of lottery funding.
The King's Head in Laxfield, known locally as The Low House, has received the sizeable grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for vital repair work. Mike Hawkins, of The Low House Community Interest Company (CIC), said: "We are delighted to have received this support from National Lottery players.
"They have enabled us to undertake this urgent maintenance to our historic pub."
The pub, in Gorams Mill Lane in the village, dates back to the 16th century.
It is one of the few remaining taprooms - where customers see their pints poured straight from the barrels in the absence of a bar - in the country.
Its quirky interior has remained relatively unchanged for more than 100 years.
However, villagers raised fears in 2018 that the pub could be lost due to a lack of clarity over how it could be registered as an asset of community value.
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In response, a group of regular punters formed the CIC and completed a deal to take over from previous owner Adnams in May 2018.
A CIC spokesman previously said: "The pub is a focal point for the village and our aim is to return it to a thriving, welcoming place with fantastic beer and delicious pub food.
"As a CIC, any profit made by the pub will be invested in the community and we are really looking forward to taking over the reins."
The move followed other community takovers of Suffolk pubs, including The Duke of Marlborough in Somersham and The Sorrel Horse in Shottisham.
Since the takeover, The King's Head has continued to thrive - including being named Unspoilt Pub of the Year by the Good Pub Guide for 2020.
The Good Pub Guide described the pub's atmosphere as "easy-going" and "genuinely friendly", and commended its garden and regular event schedule.
The pub's owners have said the Lottery funding will be used to replace a ridge in the roof of the building.
They have also confirmed that a public exhibition has been planned for the village, which will showcase the skills of a traditional Suffolk thatcher.