The Ashton Hayes Community Hub Committee have been busy despite restrictions caused by the pandemic for another year.
The Golden Lion was relisted as an ACV on the 29th April 2021 and the subsequent moratorium was triggered and ran its course concluding 6 months later. A formal offer of £342,000 was submitted under the moratorium via the then selling agents Wright Marshall. The owner within the same week then de-instructed Wright Marshall and appointed a new agent in BA Commercial of Chester. Our formal offer was then resubmitted to BA Commercial.
Following a Sandstone ‘Ward Walk’ in 2021 with the CEO of CWaC, Andrew Lewis, on which one of the issues discussed was the Golden Lion, a specific point of contact in the Deputy Chief Executive, Communities, Environment, Economy was arranged to oversee CWaC’s role in the project.
A number of constructive and supportive meetings with CWaC have followed. Cheshire West and Chester Council have now revisited our request for a Compulsory Purchase Order on the pub and have now formally agreed to pursue a CPO if no other sale agreement can be reached with the owner.
This has allowed the CBS to formally request a meeting with the new agents selling the Golden Lion (BA Commercial) on behalf of the owner and quoting the fact that a CPO is now a publicly confirmed option to acquire the pub for community ownership and use. We are currently awaiting a response to this request.
In relation to funding, a submission to Central Government’s Community Ownership Fund (COF) was submitted late in 2021. Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful, and the second round of applications has been rescheduled whilst the fund undergoes a review of the criteria applicants should fulfil as many others were also unsuccessful in the first round of bids. We have been encouraged to apply again when the next round of funding is opened and bids are able to be submitted. This fund has the potential to grant up to £250,000 for projects wishing to retain community assets such as village pubs.
The committee are continuing their work to return The Golden Lion back to its former glory and we will continue to keep you updated with progress as it happens. The best way to follow progress is via our Facebook Page but if you would like to receive email notifications let us know and we will add you to our list.