As there seem to be quite a few people on here interested in the Puzzle I thought I would provide an update. I’ve been a long time regular at the Puzzle (50+ years. Gulp) and having been following the saga as much as possible despite being away for most of the time.
A few points from earlier threads. The pub is not listed despite several attempts to get it so. The council say it is too “bitty” to list. It was not a failing pub (though previous tenants have failed) but was very successful under the last incumbent, Simon, who now owns the Victorian Beer Café in Halifax.
New River Trading were a company set up to buy property, particularly pubs, to convert to new, more profitable purposes (unscrupulous bastards). They bought 150 pubs from Punch at an average cost thought to be £135000. Simons lease was up and he considered continuing despite being heavily involved in his new venture but the rent proposed convinced him to walk. New River opened it up to new tenants and there were several interested, but all put off by the terms. It has been suggested that New River knew little about what they had bought and put the same price on them all which might have been alright for some of the pubs but not what was possibly the smallest of the 150. When New River offered it for sale there were rumours that the asking price was £400000 (uns,,,etc.). With the thefts and Vandalism that has taken place since it is probably worth well below £50000.
A cooperative was formed in an attempt to buy it and they have been active in preparing a bid and raising funds. Then New River went bust and the sale is now in the hands of Administrators who announced a bidding process with a closing deadline of last Tuesday so the cooperative sent out an urgent call for people to buy shares, hence the link in the original post. To date the cooperative have raised about £100000 which qualifies them for match funding so are nearing the 250000 budget to buy and refurbish the pub. I do not know how the bidding has gone and have my fingers crossed. For me the Puzzle was my ideal pub and the main attraction of Sowerby Bridge.
More information will be on the Friends of the Puzzle Hall Facebook page (which I don’t use) and the share offer is still open.
Anyway, up the town, we need to thrash Woking and get back on track.