The Chequer Inn Ash Society are now searching for a suitable tenant with a passion for the community, to run our village owned pub with a vision to serve the heart of our community.
We are seeking to appoint a like-minded tenant who will work, in collaboration with us, to provide a high quality food and drink offering with the opportunity to develop all aspects of the business.
• Historic village inn in the heart of the village • Spacious bar, dining area with kitchen and living accommodation refurbished to a high standard • Large garden with opportunities • Free of tie on wines, beers, spirits and minerals • Three year traditional tenancy agreement • Fully supported by Community partners
Whilst the Chequer Inn Ash Society Ltd owns the asset, the day to day pub business will be in the hands of a tenant. We would want to work closely with them to realise the potential of this historic pub and to ensure we meet criteria set down by our funders. Last year, the Plunkett Foundation published a report on community co-operative pubs. The research showed that none of these pubs had closed since becoming community pubs, maintaining an impressive 100% survival rate.
Our Community Pub will be a welcoming and friendly environment to locals and visitors alike. Hundreds of villagers saved the pub from redevelopment. They want the business to succeed and will support it with their custom.
If you are interested in ensuring The Chequer Inn is ‘more than a pub’, send a CV with a 200 word covering letter explaining why you would make the ideal tenant, and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the first month since gaining access to the property, volunteers have been clearing the site in preparation for extensive refurbishment over the summer period.
To show off the pub to the village, we decided to hold an open day on 5th May 2018 which attracted over 150 residents, all keen to offer their help and skills to the project. Visitors were able to “Walk Through” the pub guided by members of the Committee to see how the building looked before any refurbishment took place.
We are very grateful to all that came and showed interest. For anyone else who would like to offer their services, please fill out the form HERE…
Here is a short video documenting our first visit around The Chequer Inn after we bought the pub at the end of April. A lot of work is needed to be done, and already volunteers are coming forward to help.
If you would like to Volunteer to help, then please contact us via our form HERE
Kent Messenger article By Eleanor Perkins 20th April 2018
The people of Ash are now the proud owners of The Chequer Inn following a two-year enterprise to raise £400,000.
Residents, desperate to stop their village pub from being turned into housing, raised the cash through shareholders, investors, a grant and a loan.
With the assistance of solicitors, the sale has now been completed and residents received the keys last week.
Matthew Titterton, who originally began the campaign in December 2015, said: “We are all very excited and can’t believe that this day has finally arrived. It’s fantastic to know that this wonderful historic pub which has been the heart of the community for hundreds of years will now re-open. This time there will be no national pub company owning it, but instead a community passionate for it to succeed. We have more than 300 shareholders who are determined to make a success of it, and with the right tenant, we really hope that it will be a community pub to be proud of.”
Applications for shares came from around the world including Alaska, Australia, North Carolina, Scotland and Yorkshire.
Work now begins on refurbishment of the property and a search for a suitable tenant.
Jane Greaves, secretary of The Chequer Inn Ash Society, said: “It’s all very exciting. “The committee has a number of working parties to get the pub up and running. We are hoping to have an open day for shareholders in a few weeks, but as it is currently a building site. We have a health and safety team on board so that we can do things properly. We have a very ambitious project plan and we hope to be open by the autumn.”
Working parties have since been established to help with the next stage of the Save the Chequer Inn project. They are looking for volunteers who can clear rubbish, clear the garden, make refreshments and do decorating and general D.I.Y.
Ms Greaves added: “There will be additional tasks which will need to be undertaken by skilled tradespeople – so if you are a plasterer, tiler, electrician, carpenter, interior designer and could spare us a few hours of your time and expertise at reduced or ideally zero cost that would be very much appreciated.”
The project received a £50,000 grant and a £50,000 loan from the Plunkett Foundation. Executive director James Alcock said: “We’re so pleased to be able to support The Chequer Inn who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings. Pubs that are owned and run by the community are so much more than a place to buy a drink; they provide important social spaces and services for local people, and are central to their community’s sense of place and identity.”
It comes as new homes are planned around the village as identified by Dover District Council’s Local Development Framework.
Jane Greaves from The Chequer Inn Ash Society spoke live on BBC Radio Kent to John Warnett and Anna Cookson on how the village of Ash successfully bought the village pub for the community. We are now in the process of refurbishment. Let us know how you could help us prepare the pub for its reopening with the link in the video. We hope to be open late autumn. Thanks to everyone who has been with us on this incredible journey to get this far.