Bid to reopen 'eyesore' pub for the community

The Bell Hotel in Shepton Mallet
The Bell Hotel in Shepton Mallet was shut down in 2020 [Geograph]

A charity is hoping to reopen a historic pub which was shut down by police four years ago.

The Bell Hotel in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, closed in 2020 after Avon and Somerset Police found evidence of prostitution, drug abuse and anti-social behaviour.

Interim Spaces is now hoping to nominate the pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

Dan Simon, director of Interim Spaces, said: "Listing the pub as a community asset gives groups a six month window of opportunity to raise the funds before the owner can sell on the open market."

Three men from Interim Spaces outside Market Place in Shepton Mallet
The team from Interim Spaces took over No.10 Market Place in Shepton Mallet in 2023 [Interim Spaces]

Interim Spaces specialises in taking over failing and empty high street buildings and turning them over to community use.

In 2023 it renovated another building in Shepton Mallet, No.10 Market Place, which is now used as a community space.

'An eyesore'

Mr Simon said: "The Bell Hotel is an interesting and historic site in the centre of the town. It's been sat boarded up and neglected for too long.

"It's one of the first buildings you see when driving into Shepton Mallet and it's an eyesore.

"When community groups take charge of pubs, it can help bring them back to life and bring life back to the town."

Somerset Council will decide if it can be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) in the near future.

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