Packed public meeting in Curry Rivel to discuss pub
Over 70 people crammed into the Curry Rivel Village Hall last night to listen to start a conversation around buying the village pub the King William IV. With the Bell Inn now a distant memory and the Old Forge converted into a (very successful) restaurant and bar, the King William is now the only traditional pub left in the village.
A planning application was submitted in April to convert the pub and car park into housing and although that application was rejected by the Parish Council, South Somerset District Council (SSDC) have postponed a decision initially from April 25th to 26th May and now again to the 28th July.
In between times the parish council have moved to apply for the pub to be registered as an asset of community value, a move endorsed by SSDC on the 6th June by agreement between ward member Tiffany Osborn and Chair of Area North, Derek Yeomans. That gives 6 months for a bid for the property to be made by the community and to date the current owners have been supportive of the idea.
And now a group of four villagers, Tony and Gina Beauchamp, Alan Martin and Shane Lovett have got together to work on a proposal to buy the pub as a private limited company. The idea is to sell shares to villagers at £500 per share and use the proceeds to buy the pub. The pub would then be run by volunteers until enough regular income was being generated to employ professional management. And that was the purpose of the meeting, to see if there was any appetite for the plan.
If the turnout to the meeting was anything to go by, and the nature of the questions and answers, there seems to be a lot of support for the proposal. Pledge forms were left on every chair inviting the public to pledge either their time as volunteers or their cash to buy shares. The response in pledges will of course be the real test that determines the future of the King William IV.
Copies of the pledge forms can be found on their facebook page: “Community Purchase of King William IV Curry Rivel”