Save The Duke Community Shares

To buy our beautiful historic village pub, re-open it as a community pub and stop the building being converted to housing and lost forever

We did it!

On 14th Nov 2015 we successfully raised £186,570 with 167 investors in 75 days
Community Share Project

Own a pub!

This is your chance to become part-owner of a picturesque rural pub with centuries of history, and a future full of promise. You can be a hero investor, breathing life back into the all-important hub of our vibrant community. 

The Duke of Marlborough a beautiful, grade II listed historic building that’s been offering hospitality for over 500 years, and thanks to you it will continue for generations to come.

Join a group of investors who believe in this project; who know the difference it can make to the community and the rural economy; and who want to be part of this exciting crowd-funding venture. Together we will succeed.

Share Our Vision

The Duke of Marlborough will be a shining example of best practice. You'll be delighted to have saved it; proud to co-own it and happy to visit it.

We aim to buy the Duke of Marlborough - and transform it into a thriving, viable, sustainable village pub.

The Duke will be a proper pub. It will feature real ale and cider from the region. There’ll be an excellent choice of wines, spirits and soft drinks – not to mention tea, coffee, cake and WiFi! The menu will include tasty bar snacks as well quality, fresh food - cooked on the premises. There will always be something special on offer to tantalise the taste buds and tempt pub-goers from around the region.

As a business run for the benefit of the community, we’ll source ingredients and products from nearby suppliers as often as possible. This will help vitalise the local economy, reduce food miles – and boost awareness of the specialities of our region.

The aim is to ensure the pub appeals to individuals, couples, families, groups, organisations and businesses as well as drawing in tourists. Activities ranging from quizzes and live music to wine tasting and beer festivals will help build the Duke’s reputation as a fun pub to visit. Plans are also afoot to extend the outdoor area and create a play space for children. 

Your investment will help make the Duke of Marlborough into a flourishing business owned entirely by shareholders and run for the benefit of the community. It’ll be a traditional pub that’s warm and welcoming but it won't shy away from being adventurous - we'll always looking to the future. It will be a vibrant cross-generational hub, serving people’s differing needs, daytime and evening, weekdays and weekends, summer and winter.

Local historians believe that the Duke of Marlborough has been an inn throughout its 600 year history.


The owners of the Duke of Marlborough did a great job of restoring and running the pub, but they stopped trading last Christmas when they retired – and they now wish to sell the place. We need to raise the funds to buy it. Then we’ll have an action-packed time getting everything up and running, and throwing those doors wide open!

This is not any old pub in any old area, and we are not any old community. This is a characterful, grade II listed coaching inn. This is a pleasant Suffolk village in gently rolling countryside within easy reach of numerous centres of population. This is a community that fiercely wants its pub back – and is determined not to allow centuries of hospitality to be lost to private dwelling.

                          The Whitton family, Project Chair Sarah Caston and CAMRA Press Manager Neil Walker show their support for the Duke

Benefits of investing

In addition to helping Save the Duke for this and future generations, and turning it into a thriving community pub that you want to visit, why would you invest? To:-

  • Become co-owner of a historic rural pub
  • Benefit from exclusive shareholder offers on food and drink
  • Join in special shareholder events
  • Receive annual interest payments when profits allow
  • Be eligible (true for most taxpayers) to reclaim 30% of investment from HMRC against your tax liability through the EIS scheme for current or previous year (investment needs to be held for 3 years to qualify)

The Save the Duke campaign is already supported by a wide range of organisations and prominent figures. From right to left: The Cask Marque team, Jane Peyton of Beer Day Britain, Tony Jerome from SIBA (Society for Independent Brewers), Tim Hampson, Chair of The British Guild of Beer Writers

Share offer details

Please see the prospecus and business plan below for full details of the share offer. The minimum investment is £250, which will grant you 5 shares at £50 each. You must be 18 or over to hold shares in your name. You can invest anything from £250 to £100,000. Whatever your investment, you will be part-owner of this fantastic community pub – and your commitment will be welcome and appreciated. With the tax benefit, you may be able to afford more than you originally thought – check it out and seek advice.

If you wish to pledge more than £20,000, please bid in multiples or click on the link below to send the Save The Duke team a message. 

You are buying shares in Somersham Community Pub, a Community Benefit Society (CBS) registered with the FCA (reg. no. 7070)

THANKS TO: Andrew Bryce at The Suffolk Escape for making our video, The Plunkett Foundation, and Crowdfunder for making us the 1st community pub on their site!

Next step: become a hero investor! Pledge your investment now - in anticipation of becoming part owner of a really fantastic pub!

Important Documents



 Risk Warning Funding pitches through carries some risk. There is no guarantee for members making donations that any reward offered will be delivered. Equally, when members invest in community shares the capital they invest is at risk and they may not get back what they put in. Rewards based crowdfunding and the sale of community shares are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, nor covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Click here to read more about the risks.

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