Campaign group given bursary boost in efforts to save Charlton pub
PUBLISHED: 11:06 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:26 10 January 2019
The campaign to save Charlton pub, The Windmill, has been given a financial boost thanks to a bursary from a community support foundation.
Save The Windmill has been given £2,500 by the Plunkett Foundation through their More Than a Pub programme, to help stop the redevelopment of the building and car park.
The pub closed in June 2015 after successive tenants struggled to make a go of the business, and brewery group Charles Wells sold the building.
It was bought by a private owner who submitted a planning application to change it into a residential dwelling, but the group managed to fight the plan and secure its use as a pub.
However, the development risk remains and the building still stands empty.
Phil Jarvis from the Save The Windmill group believes the bursary is key to returning the pub to its former glory.
“We’re delighted to be awarded support from the Plunkett Foundation,” he said.
“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.”
Save The Windmill has also now been registered as a Community Benefit Society, which will allow the group to raise funds and access grants and loans to purchase the pub.
The group is also planning to share a business plan at a public meeting this year.
Nicole Hamilton, project manager for the More Than a Pub scheme, said she was delighted to support the campaign group.
“We’re so pleased to be able to support Save the Windmill who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings,” she said.
“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.”
While the bursary is a huge step towards bringing The Windmill back, Phil has called for further support from the public: “It is not just the pub 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.”