Toilet Christening March 2019
Beryl Hurst cuts the ribbon to open our new extension flanked by local councillors, representatives from our grant funders, the management committee, our Manager Amanda Lucas and volunteers
Wednesday 27th March 2019 witnessed a new milestone for the Great Bromley Cross Community Pub. We officially opened our new grant funded extention with a 24/7 RADAR key accessible toilet to serve everyone even when the pub is closed.
The new extension with step free access, community space on the first floor and energy saving features such as a new boiler and energy efficient cellar and kitchen appliances, was made possible by generous grants from the GCG Environment Trust, Essex County Council Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) and Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE). The grants totaling around £100,000 were match funded by the Great Bromley Cross using our trading profits and via the labour of our fantastic volunteers. Thanks to everyone inviolved.
Commenting on the project, Owen Blowers, the Chair of the Community Group which runs The Great Bromley Cross, said: “The local community raised £210, 000 through the sale of community shares, which enabled us to buy the pub and make some improvements, but our grant funders’ generosity enabled us to do so much more with our limited funds. The first floor accommodation has become a multi-purpose community space, hosting events such as craft fairs and acting as training venue for local businesses. We upgraded our heating and cellar cooling to be more energy efficient, with improved insulation and automatic low-energy lighting, reducing our carbon emissions. And we have installed a 24/7 RADAR key accessible toilet, which is already appearing on maps of accessible toilets, meaning anyone with a RADAR key can use it day or night”.
The Great Bromley Cross Pub Community Benefit Society Management Commitee Chair, Owen Blowers, celebrates the opening of the accessible toliet
Local resident and regular customer, Mark Beauchamp, checks out the new facilities
The new entrance area and toilets follows hot on the heels of The Great Bromley Cross’s other renovation projects which saw a new kitchen installed and the opening up of the pub into one big room. The recently appointed pub Manager, Amanda Lucas, said: "We are delighted with these improvements. The completion of these projects means that The Great Bromley Cross can offer far more than ever before for local people and visitors to the area. Our goal was for The Great Bromley Cross to be ‘More Than a Pub’, with its Wednesday morning pop up Post Office, coffee shop and library, and these new facilities allow us to fulfil that ambition.”
And the pub’s customers added another twist to the new toilets by twinning them with other community toilets in developing countries through a project run by the charity Toilet Twinning (https://www.toilettwinning.org). Jim Craddock, who helped with the quiz said, “a few of our regulars organised a pub quiz and the £200 we raised has helped to provide clean water, basic sanitation, and hygiene education in other countries. Each of our loos now has a certificate showing the toilet it is twinned with, together with their GPS co-ordinates so you even look them up on Google Maps. So when you spend a penny at the Cross, you can see where our pennies have gone – Afghanistan, Malawi, Nepal and Pakistan.”
The Great Bromley Cross was bought by the Community through a public share offer and re-opened in December 2016. Managed by Amanda, with a team of enthusiastic volunteers, The Great Bromley Cross has hosted a range of events from pop-up themed food nights, book launches, art exhibitions, Quiz Nights, Music Nights and an increasingly popular Coffee Shop/Library/Post Office on Wednesday Mornings. It regularly welcomes street food vans to its car park, which people can eat in or take away, providing much needed services to villages which can no longer support such outlets permanently. The Great Bromley Cross is currently planning its Spring and Summer diary of events http://www.greatbromleycross.org.uk/forthcoming-events
You can read more in the press coverage we had in the local Gazette