Committee Meeting

Committee Meeting 31 March 2022


  • Feedback on lessons from our visits
  • Architects plans so far
  • Creating our vision.
  • Next steps
  • AOB

The Steering Group met to review the lessons we had learned which could be summarised by the following

  • The more you involve the community the better
  • However rules need to be established early. Shareholders are not decision makers.
  • As many shareholders as possible is the ideal.
  • Of the 4 community owned pubs we visited 2 were cooperatives, 2 Private Ltd Co’s one of these chose a one vote per stake.
  • Nothing happened until physical change happened.
  • Most professional operation was the Auctioneers Arms who had a manager
  • Seems that the easy route is to have tenants
  • It’s all about food, a good pint and a safe and welcoming environment with a fire.  Four essential ingredients.
  • Upstairs can indeed generate £850 a week in B&B revenue and live in accomodation no benefit if money is not kept on premises
  • Saw nothing that worried us or surprised us other than the atmosphere in the Auctioneers and the White Hart which were both palpable
  • The best kept ale was in Wetherspoons and the Fitzherbert Arms! neither of which is a community pub and at opposite ends ofthe offer spectrum
  • And yet all 4 community pubs were doing well in very difficult times.
  • They all said don’t forget that you will need more money than the purchase price! It has to be “done up” and they underestimated this.

Architects Recomendations.

Plans were shown to steering group members that had been  drawn up by our commissioned architect.

The plans had been ammended to suit the situation.

Key elements were to retain and indeed to get back to how the pub used to look in the 1920’s and any additions to clearly be seen as diferent and more modern and not detract from the charachter of the old.

In order to have a decent food offering that could afford a chef/kitchen etc then we would have to provide 60 covers or above.

Any additional space should be where line of sight is quite short to help create dinimg atmosphere. with seperate areas/spaced for meetings.

The building should be single story portal frame with sedum roof and if possible any rubble retained on site.

The bar room/area should be kept as is other than its own smoking /outside area created and new toilets and is a place people can go to in work clothes 

The existing lounge area is opened up to form a link to the new area

The actual two sided bar is to be retained as it is an efficient workspace

The majority of the additional development is to be wrapped round the rear to improve the visual aemenity of the site

Living wall gambons to be used as a retaining wall

The Vision

The Holly Bush Inn has reverted back to its original purpose as being a village coaching inn and is renowned for its hospitality and good fayre.

A true Village pub owned by the community and with a community lock so that the freehold stays within the parish in perpetuity. 

Wherever possible it sources its products locally and support for local businesses is part of its purpose. It, therefore, provides space for business people to meet clients and is open from 9 in the morning to late.  During the day the atmosphere is more akin to a good quality cafe.

It is recognised for the role it plays in developing its people and many ex Holly Bush Staff now work and manage other similar local establishments

It serves all of the community and no one should feel excluded or unable to visit the pub as it is a safe environment for all. 

The Holly Bush Inn is a community enterprise and foremost makes a surplus which is invested in its future in order to preserve its very existence so that our whole community can benefit.

Operating Policy

Having researched other operations and taken advice from many sources we believe that this can be best achieved by.

  • Establishing a company limited by guarantee (not shares) where the property has an asset lock held by the parish council
  • After engaging with the community, offering them a stake in the company where each stake is a minimim of £500
  • The stakeholders appoint 9 directors (trustees) who serve a maximum of 3 years and 1/3 being appointed on rotation annually by the shareholders.
  • The Trustees Directors are totally responsible for the day to day operation 
  • The Trustee Directors can appoint a manager to undertake the daily duties.
  • The manager is expected to enforce an agreed and publically available code of conduct with his patrons (whether or not they are trustees or owners or anyone else)
  • Purchasing the whole site Pub and Car Park utilising the 50% grant available. 

Next Steps

  • Prepare prospectus
  • Engage with community
  • Form company
  • Complete architects visual
  • Make a formal offer for the pub