11:45AM, Friday 23 March 2018
A pub which has been empty for two years could be resurrected by the Clewer community.
The Swan, in Mill Lane, is being targeted for a potential takeover by almost 100 residents in a move which could see it transformed into a community hub.
The venue is owned by the Wellington Pub Company but residents are hoping to follow in the footsteps of regulars at The Craufurd Arms, in Maidenhead, who clubbed together to buy the freehold for their much-loved watering hole.
Windsor and Eton Brewery director Will Calvert has been advising the group on how to take the next step and held a meeting this month which was attended by more than 90 people.
He said: “It’s clear to me there’s a lot of people to who The Swan means a lot, either as an asset in the community or as a social hub.
“I think the idea has fantastic potential.”
Ideas proposed include creating a café area and providing links for job opportunities for students from The Green Room, in Albert Street.
An application has been submitted to the council to turn the site into an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
This means that when a pub goes up for sale, interested members of the community are given six weeks to put a bid in and another 20 weeks if an interest is expressed.
Mark Newcombe, chairman of the Craufurd Arms Society Limited, has also been supporting the Clewer residents as they plot their next move.
He said: “We have proved since taking over The Craufurd Arms that pubs are viable.
“It’s all about who is running them.
“These big companies are just sucking all the money out and that’s what’s difficult.
“For us, we now own the freehold so all the profits stay in the pub.”
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