Group members get chance to inspect pub

MEMBERS of the steering group co-ordinating efforts by the community to buy The Britannia Inn have been shown around the empty pub.

The pub is for sale through the Caldecotte Group, with an asking price of £350,000, and an agent opened the doors in March to allow a tour of the premises.

“Sadly, East Wells has been without a pub for over two years now. Given how long it’s been closed we were pleasantly surprised to see how good a condition the building appears to be in,” said Councillor Theo Butt Philip, Chair of the steering group.

“There are some damp patches and one or two cracks in the rendering, but cosmetically at least, the building seems to be in relatively good order.”

A new ‘Save the Brit’ Facebook page has been launched which will provide more updates about the project and engagement with the community. Work is also taking place on a dedicated website.

A poll on the Wells (Somerset) Community Notice Board page inviting people to choose from various uses for The Britannia if it reopens, or to suggest their own ideas, reached more than 12,000 people and had more than 3,400 votes.

Apart from it being a pub, there was most support for evening meals and live music (mirroring the outcome of the consultation run in Wells Voice and online at the start of the year); for pool, darts or skittles; for quiz nights; and for play equipment in the garden.

The process of setting up a Community Benefit Society (the East Wells Community Benefit Society) has been started, and an application to register it has been submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority. Once set up, a bank account will be opened, and the community will be invited to buy shares in the venture as fundraising begins to try to get enough money to make an offer for the pub.

“In the next few weeks we will be releasing details of how people can support the project both financially and in other ways,” said Cllr Butt Philip.

“We are planning a couple of public events in the near future to explain more about the project and what we have been doing to make this dream come true. The community has said it wants to Save the Brit, and that’s what we are doing our best to achieve.”