Shouldham’s 17th-century pub, overlooking our beautiful village green in rural West Norfolk, closed its doors in June 2012 and was subsequently put up for sale. A number of us in the village were determined not to lose our last pub - and so SOKA (Save Our King’s Arms!) was born.
An initial public meeting attracted a tremendous response from the village. A committee was soon formed and plans were drawn to set up a co-operative (IPS) company, to be run for the benefit of the community. On March 4th 2013, less than two months after our first meeting, Shouldham Community Enterprises Ltd came into being.
We are now engaged in raising money to buy the pub, by applying for grants but also by staging a programme of fundraising events that, we hope, will be fun for all. See the events section for details of planned activities to which you’re cordially invited.
On August 16th 2013, we plan to launch our community share issue, when we shall be encouraging as many people as possible - from inside and outside the village - to buy shares in the King’s Arms and so own a bit of their very own pub. To enable full participation, everyone buying £50 of shares will have one vote at the AGM and hence a voice in the future of their pub. The maximum anyone can invest will be £20,000.
At present, the King’s Arms remains closed, but with the tremendous enthusiasm and help of our supporters, we hope to purchase it and, as soon as possible, re-open it not only as a classic English country pub, but also as the hub for many other community initiatives.
We are keen for as many people as possible to join in this exciting community project, so do come along to the events and do not hesitate to contact us with ideas, comments or offers of help.