The campaign to save the Windmill Public House in Charlton, Hitchin has been given a boost with business support and a bursary to develop its plans.
The ‘Save The Windmill ‘group has been accepted on to the Plunkett Foundation ‘More than a Pub Business Support Programme’, with a bursary of £2,500, to help save the much loved pub.
The programme supports community ownership of pubs in England, with specialist advice and finance.
“We’re delighted to be awarded support from the Plunkett Foundation” said Phil Jarvis from the group. “It is an important step towards bringing this much-missed riverside pub back to the community. The Plunkett Foundation were impressed by the campaign’s vision and enthusiasm.”
The group has recently registered to form a Community Benefit Society (CBS) called Save the Windmill Community Pub Limited. The CBS structure and bursary grant will enable the group to raise funds and access grants and loans to purchase the pub. It plans to present a community share prospectus and business plan at a public meeting in 2019.
Nicole Hamilton, project manager for More Than A Pub, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to support Save the Windmill Community Pub Limited who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings. Pubs that are owned and run by the community are so much more than a place to buy a drink; they provide important social spaces and services for local people and are central to their community’s sense of place and identity.
Under the ‘More than a Pub’ programme, scores of pubs across the country have been brought back as successful thriving businesses, meeting local needs under shared community management and ownership.”
The Windmill pub was forced to close 3 years ago, but the pub and car park remain a gateway to the local countryside and a popular place to meet. Phil Jarvis said: “It is not just the pub that is under threat of redevelopment, but the car park as well. We need the support of people in Hitchin and surrounding areas to save the pub and car park for the community.
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