Public Meeting July 2015
"Save The Bromley Cross", organised a public meeting at Great Bromley Village Hall on Tuesday 15th July, to explain what's been going on and to share the results of a recent questionnaire about the pub. There was also an inspirational presentation by David Westley and Peter Cross who are part of the successful team from Bentley in Suffolk, that saved The Case is Altered and turned it into a flourishing village pub.
Over 70 people were at the meeting and heard first from Owen Blowers about what has happened to date. The Cross Inn received outline planning for 2 houses on their garden at the end of last year. In April the Parish Council successfully applied for an "Asset of Community Value" registration, and soon after the pub closed. The Cross is now for sale and the local community have 6 months to make an offer.
That led to the presentation by Jim Craddock on the results of a local survey (link to powerpoint) gauging support for a community pub. Nearly 150 questionnaires were completed and show over two-thirds of the respondents thought having the Cross Inn as a pub and village amenity was important or very important. Results suggest that community ownership and even a shop would see regular usage increase from only 20% to nearly 50%. People also prioritised what they wanted - good beer, bar food and the post office featuring highly, so no surprises there.
Next, David from the Case is Altered in Bentley described how his village progressed from a similar situation, to re-opening the Case as a thriving, community-owned, village pub. They raised over £200,000 in shares, with a minimum investment of £250, and with incredible local support were able to initially open the pub run entirely by volunteers. A year on and the Case has staff who are now running the pub alongside a still enthusiastic team of volunteers, under the guidance of the shareholder elected management committee. Peter then answered the difficult financial questions, which appeared to persuade many of the audience that such a project was achievable.
The meeting closed with a show of hands to indicate support for the idea, which showed unanimous support. And a surprising number of hands stayed in the air when asked if they’d support the project financially under the right terms.
Thanks to everyone for your support - here are some photos from the evening.