A packed meeting in Minchinhampton’s historic Market House on Saturday 20 January underlined
the town’s overwhelming enthusiasm for the Crown Inn – closed by its owners Ei Publican
Partnerships in 2013 – to reopen as soon as possible.
The 2 pm meeting was called by Minchinhampton Parish Council in response to Ei’s recent
decision to put the freehold of the Crown Inn up for sale, but the running of the event was
delegated to local volunteers calling themselves The Restoration of the Crown, Minchinhampton,
The purpose of the meeting was to test the strength of feeling in the town and to outline the
way ahead should a community bid to buy the pub be mounted. Questionnaires inviting people to
state their views were distributed to all those attending.
With a total capacity of only 110, the Market House was unable to accommodate all the
people who came and many had to follow the proceedings while standing on the stairs and in the
undercroft. Nigel Parry, leader of the RCMG said ‘The extraordinary level of response indicates just
how important the Crown is to the town. It augurs well for its future as a viable business.
Nick Hurst, Leader of the Council, opened the meeting before handing over to Nigel Parry
who introduced three guest speakers. These comprised David Morgan, licensed trade chartered
surveyor, Robin Couling of Oakridge Wealth Management and Peter Austin of Inventive Hospitality,
all of whom had had extensive experience of running licensed premises and were aware of the
procedures, pitfalls and opportunities involved in establishing community-run pubs.
The audience listened attentively to each speaker and responded enthusiastically to the
question-and- answer session that followed each presentation. Closing the meeting after almost
two hours, Nigel Parry thanked all the speakers for their contributions and promised to keep the
people of Minchinhampton informed of progress.
Summing up the event, Mr Parry commented: ‘We estimate that there were 150 people
there. Minchinhampton people are crying out for a working pub in the centre of the town. We are
determined to get the Crown Inn reopened.
Here also is a summary of an excerpt from the Parish Council’s meeting on 29th January –
“The Council agreed to formally express it’s support for the Crown Restoration Group’s efforts. The Crown would be placed on future Council Planning and full Council Agendas and the Group invited to attend to give updates”.
In the meantime the Restoration Group are in contact with the speakers at the meeting on 20th January and Ei Pub Partnerships’ Agent Fleurets to monitor progress towards the sale of The Crown as a pub. The Group is also pursuing ideas on how best to formulate a Community bid for the Pub should the present owner fail to find a buyer who will see it re-opened.
Further updates will appear on this “Minchinhampton Life website.
In the meantime the Crown Restoration Group is preparing to set up a charitable Company in order to mount a bid for the Crown should it be necessary. Anybody with legal or business experience who would be prepared to be involved with the Company, please contact Nigel Parry firstname.lastname@example.org.