Hundreds register interest in Save the Windmill pub shares campaign

PUBLISHED: 07:02 09 July 2019

An artist impression of what a restored Windmill pub could look like. Picture: Save the Windmill

An artist impression of what a restored Windmill pub could look like. Picture: Save the Windmill

Archant

More than 100 people have registered to buy shares in Charlton's The Windmill pub, following a public meeting to discuss the community purchase.

Residents turned out to hear about the plans to Save the Windmill pub. Picture: Phil JarvisResidents turned out to hear about the plans to Save the Windmill pub. Picture: Phil Jarvis

The Save the Windmill campaign group hosted the meeting at The Sun Hotel in Hitchin to present its plans for the pub, which closed in June 2015.

Phil Jarvis, who leads the Save the Windmill campaign group, said: "We have had a tremendous response - we didn't expect such a good turn out.

"Our plans for The Windmill were very well received by the audience, and it was encouraging to see that members of local council were also able to share their views.

"We are now at a crucial stage where individual members of the community must step up and show their level of support by formally completing a registration form to specify how many community share they are prepare to purchase.

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"The evening ended with a very supportive round of applause, leaving members of the action group encouraged and energised."

Phil explained to a packed out audience how a community share scheme and community owned pub could work, and Bernard Lee from the British Institute of Inn keeping shared his analysis of The Windmill's prospects under community ownership.

He told residents of his experience in helping scores of community pubs reopen as thriving community hubs across the East of England.

Bernard compared The Windmill with other successful community owned pubs, and commented on the fact that few could rival The Windmill's beautiful riverside location and the fact that it provided a "gateway to the countryside" just minutes away from the busy town of Hitchin.

The pub closed more than two years ago after successive tenants struggled to make a go of the business. Brewery group Charles Wells subsequently sold the building, but it has remained unused, with current owners reluctant to sell.

The campaign group released its business plan to try to buy the building last month.

Information on how you can get involved can be found on www.savethewindmillpub.com, or by phone on 07708 226066. The group will also be distributing information leaflets in Hitchin in the coming weeks.

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