STRAP Chairman’s Update – 3rd January 2020

Chairman’s Update – 3rd January 2020

Railway Arms Pub, Saffron Walden

Dear All

  • Happy New Year!
  • Owners intend to sell the Railway Arms
  • Third anniversary of closure. Photoshoot at 11am Sunday 5th January
  • PuP 11: Friday 31st January 6pm – midnight; Saturday 12 noon – 12 midnight at Fairycroft House.

Happy New Year, I hope you all had a great festive season and are now looking forward to the New Year. I’m sure it will be an eventful one in lots of ways and particularly for the Railway Arms.

As you know, the owners notified the district council of their intention to sell the pub just before Christmas and, as you’d expect, we’ve been taking advantage of the holidays to put ourselves in the best position to be able to make an offer. Thank you to all who have sent messages of support. We’re clear in our “2020 vision” that, after three years of being closed, this year should see the Railway Arms back at the heart of the community. Others may step up to buy the pub and, if they can deliver a great pub and community experience for all, utilising all the existing facilities, I’m sure Saffron Walden will support their efforts; certainly the Save The Railway Arms Pub campaign will.

However, we believe, and our professional advisers have made it clear, that community ownership provides the best opportunity for the Railway Arms to thrive. That is why we established the Saffron Walden Community Pub Ltd and buying the pub as a community, for the community remains our aim.

The Railway will have been closed for three years on Monday 6th January and to mark the event we’ll be gathering outside the pub at 11.00am on Sunday 5th January to show our support for the pub and for our vision of community ownership.

Please come along if you can and bring friends and family. We’ll take a photograph that we’ll use on our publicity materials and we’ll do our best to ensure that it finds its way into the papers to show the wider community that something is happening here. There are lots of new people in Saffron Walden that perhaps weren’t here when all this began. Let’s invite them to join us in our efforts to save the Railway.

Early indications from the More Than A Pub programme suggest we should be successful in a renewed application for support. The prize will be access to their expertise and guidance and up to £100,000 in grants and loans to support our bid. I have received all the forms this afternoon and the committee will meet on Wednesday to begin the process. We’ll be reworking our business case and making sure that our plans for Saffron Walden’s first community owned pub properly reflect the needs and desires of the community and its members.

To help and to get involved, or just to show support, please do come along on Sunday morning and then to our  11th Pop up Pub event at Fairycroft House  from 6pm on Friday 31st January – Saturday 1st February.


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