New community pub owner vows to work with locals

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Admiral taverns, The sale

The Anglers Rest: the Bamford Community Society raised more than £180k to save the pub
The Anglers Rest: the Bamford Community Society raised more than £180k to save the pub
The new owner of a community pub has vowed to work with locals to keep the venue running, after they lost out on taking on the site from Admiral Taverns.

It comes as the Bamford Community Society (BCS) hit out after Admiral Taverns decided to sell the Anglers Rest in Bamford, Derbyshire, to architect Carl Higgs.

The group has raised more than £180,000. The pub was also listed as an asset of community value on 21 May, which means that the group had six weeks to lodge a non-binding expression of interest, after which the sale would be delayed for a further four and a half months.

The society had been in talks with Admiral for almost a year about buying the pub. However, when Admiral asked for a deposit of £120,000, with a delayed completion date of 12 months, the group believed it to be an unrealistic offer.

The deal included interest payable at 10% on the outstanding balance for the first 12 months. After that, the interest would rise to 12%, and if the full balance had not been settled the pubco would have reclaimed possession of the pub and the community would have forfeited the money paid.

Outrage

A blog by the BCS said that the group is “outraged” by the decision. “We are looking at other avenues to approach this and will monitor the new buyer,” added Liz Marshall, a member of the group. She added that the group will hold Higgs to account on the services that he has promised to include in the pub.

Higgs said that he plans to work with the BCS to incorporate their ideas, such as a café and post office. “My plan for the pub is built on making it the hub of the Bamford community,” he said.

“I have also given my commitment to the tenant that we will extend his agreement and also give him a free-of-tie deal, so that he can increase his margins.”

Admiral Taverns property and strategy director Andy Clifford said: “For more than a year, we have engaged fully in discussions over a sale to this local group representing the community, and have given them the opportunity to buy the pub.

“The Anglers Rest is afforded protection under its asset of community value status and has an incoming owner who is fully committed to preserving the pub for the local community.”

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