Campaigners are raising their glasses after securing protected status for a Fleet pub.
Fleet and Church Crookham Society (FCCS) and the Surrey/Hants Borders Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have successfully applied to Hart District Council for The Falkners Arms to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
It is the fifth successful application for Fleet pubs in the last two years.
Patric Downes, the FCCS committee member who led the application process, said registering a property as an ACV gives it some protection against planning changes and, should the property come up for sale, the local community must be offered the opportunity to bid to purchase the property.
“But perhaps more significantly, listing the property is recognition by the community that it values the pub and wishes to see its continued use,” he added.
“It makes a clear statement about things we wish to preserve and that help make our community what it is.”
The current owners took over the The Falkners Arms in 2006 and began serious fundraising efforts in 2010.
Since then they have raised £93,000 for many local and national charities.
They recently raised £28,000 to fund a Variety Club "Sunshine Coach" to be used to help local disabled children and have also helped other charities over the years, including Help for Heroes, Make a Wish, When You Wish Upon a Star, Dream Factory, Rays of Sunshine, and local children in need of special equipment.
“We were amazed when we realised just how much money The Falkners Arms raises for the community,” said Mr Downes.
“This is real recognition of their hard work.”
Kevin Travers, pubs officer for Surrey/Hants Borders CAMRA, said: “The Falkners Arms really does contribute to the local community.
“We were very pleased to work with FCCS to achieve listing for the Falkners Arms and would be very happy to work with others in the community that want to support their local pubs.”
'Delighted and very proud'
Paul Moroney, co-owner of the Falkners on the Ancells Farm estate, added: “Our vision has always been to create a community environment that our customers can enjoy and be proud of, and to raise funds for those in need of help through local and national charities and good causes.
“We are delighted and very proud to have been nominated and accepted as an Asset of Community Value.”
The Falkners Arms holds its annual family fun day on April 30 in support of Cove-based Parity for Disability, which provides services for people with multiple disabilities in Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.
Shops, pubs, community halls and playing fields can all be nominated for listing as ACVs.
Anyone wishing to suggest a property should protective status should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.