Local campaigners are recognised by CAMRA for rescuing Tollerton pub
Campaigners who saved the Air Hostess in Tollerton, South Nottinghamshire have been named runners up in the Campaign for Real Ale’s prestigious Pub Saving Award for their efforts.
After a successful application to become an Asset of Community Value (ACV) was made in 2017, the pub was able to continue trading under Everards of Leicester. Unfortunately, after a couple of years of dwindling trade, it was announced that the pub and its associated land were to be disposed with.
In response, the community, supported by the Parish Council, began fundraising to purchase the pub. Over 400 residents purchased shares, and in March 2020 the pub was finally bought from Everards by the community. Volunteers project managed the renovation and the agreement of a lease with local award-winning tenants for them to trade the pub on an ongoing basis.
The pub was entirely re-designed by a local architect and interior designer, involving a 25% increase in the internal space, which was transformed to present a fresh, contemporary feel with a bold new colour scheme. The new interior also features a cosy and efficient multi-fuel stove, creating the feel of a traditional community pub for those cold winter nights ahead.
Matt Garrard, Chair of Tollerton Flying Club who led the campaign to save the Air Hostess said: “We are delighted to be recognised in this way – 2020 has been a challenging year in many ways but the campaign to save the renovate the Air Hostess has been a highlight for the village. The way that everyone has come together is testament to the strength of our community even in these difficult times.”
Cllr Claire Dul, Vice-Chair of Tollerton Parish Council said: “Not every parish council owns a share in its village pub, but our residents told us how important the Air Hostess is to Tollerton. We’re incredibly proud of the way the community has come together to deliver this project.”
The overall winner of the Pub Saving Award was The Puzzle Hall Community Pub Ltd, a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, which raised £172,860 from the local community to purchase and refurbish the Puzzle Hall Inn in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, which was fast falling into a derelict state.
The announcement of the Pub Saving Award winner and runner up comes at a time when the nation’s pubs are all in need of greater support. The work of volunteers around the country has been crucial to helping pubs survive the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing restrictions and lockdowns.
Co-ordinator of the Pub Saving Award Paul Ainsworth said: “Congratulations to both the Tollerton Flying Club and the Puzzle Hall Community Pub Ltd, which are fantastic examples of what can be achieved when community groups come together to support their local.”
Presentation events for the two community groups will take place later this year when restrictions are lifted.
For images of both pubs, please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/m4eq4rv0plhr7r1/AAAY-cysHwBHpb7CUwn91m8sa?dl=0