Campaign aims to stop loss of city centre pub

Matt Mace outside the Hand and Heart pub which he hopes to own EMN-160305-082054009
Matt Mace outside the Hand and Heart pub which he hopes to own EMN-160305-082054009
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A six-figure sum is being raised to prevent another city centre pub from disappearing after it was put up for sale.

The vice chairman of the Peterborough branch of CAMRA, Matthew Mace, is leading the crowdfunding push for £300,000 to keep the Hand & Heart in Highbury Street, off Lincoln Road, running as a community pub.

Matthew, of All Saints Road, helped get the 2015 Peterborough CAMRA pub of the year listed as an Asset of Community Value, allowing for groups to be considered as a bidder now that it has been put up for sale for £215,000 excluding VAT.

And Matthew has already had over 30 expressions of interest from people willing to invest hundreds or thousands of pounds to buy the real ale pub then pay for improvements.

He said: “I moved into Peterborough in 1995 and stayed in that house because of the community spirit. I think if we invest we can do quite well.

“To lose it would be gutting, it really would. It was built as a pub and I want to keep it as a pub. There’s not that many in that area.

“Everyone said it would be a shame to lose another pub, and one that’s that good.”

Matthew’s aim is for the pub to be run by a board of trustees chosen by shareholders.

A spokesperson from Enterprise Inns, which runs the pub, said: “From time to time we identify a pub that no longer has a future in our business. After careful consideration we have decided to offer the freehold of the Hand & Heart for sale and the pub is being openly marketed by Everard Cole. Anyone interested in the opportunity to purchase this pub should contact them on 01223 370055.”

To get in touch with Matthew about investing, call him on 07809629241 or email mattmace@hotmail.com.