CAMPAIGNERS battling to save the historic Raven Inn at Glazebury say they will not be “drawn into a bidding war” after hearing it was now on the market for offers in excess of £400k.
During a ‘Save the Raven’ public meeting at Culcheth High School last week campaigners, who have successfully had it Listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), said the six month moratorium on the sale of the Raven had been triggered, by the owners, on July 25.
The Raven is now up for sale, for offers in excess of £400K.
The meeting was told The Help Save the Raven group have had the pub surveyed and valued and made an offer, via the agents, for the full current market value. That offer had been rejected, with the agent stating there has been a higher offer.
During the meeting, a spokesperson for the steering group said they were ‘relaxed’ about this situation and that they had left their offer ‘on the table’ and would not be “drawn into a bidding war.”
The spokesperson added: “We have been advised not disclose the valuation we have received on the Raven, so as not to prejudice our negating position or to provide a free valuation to any prospective competitor.
“We reiterated what we have consistently said, that we will vehemently oppose any future plans to demolish or seek change of use for the Raven.”
Earlier this year the local community raised nearly 500 objections to a planning application to demolish the Raven and build ten houses on the site.
Since then, the listing of the Raven as an ACV had strengthened the hand of those who seek to maintain the Raven as a pub.
The spokesperson added: “We discussed the plans that have been formulated to make the Raven a community pub. The plans are inspired by what our community voted for, via the questionnaires. People want the Raven to be a traditional pub, but to be much more than that. A community pub which is also a community hub.”
Their proposals would include a Food hub: including pop-up restaurants to provide ‘first time’ opportunities for aspiring local chefs, home cooked food, traditional pub grub.
A Community Hub: including repair café and after-school club. Examine feasibility of shop, including post office facilities.
A Health and Wellbeing Hub: including Sports Clubs, Arts and Crafts exhibitions, mental health drop-in.
A Social Hub: including family and dog friendly environment, mother and tots group, ‘Meet up Mondays’ for OAP’s, social meetings for all ages and abilities. Examine the possibility of a coffee shop.
The spokesperson added: “The four ‘hubs’ have been formed in order to deliver the most popular services everybody has told us they want, via the questionnaires.
“Community pubs currently enjoy a 100% success rate. Firstly they provide what the community wants. Secondly, they can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“If the community buy shares in it they will use it; if they don’t it won’t happen anyway!
“In conclusion – We continue to work to prepare for a possible purchase, without committing to unnecessary expenditure. We continue, as always, to oppose any future applications for demolition or change of use.”
In attendance at the meeting was an effigy of Colonel Blood, who has ben adopted as a mascot by the group.
It is believed the pub was built by Holcroft family in 1562 providing direct links with Colonel Thomas Blood,and King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn via the Holcroft family.
As manorial lords existing as far back as the 13th century, they achieved notoriety through the marriage of their daughter Maria to Colonel Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer.
Thomas Blood served with Cromwell in Ireland and when he was stationed in south Lancashire the wedding took place at nearby Newchurch Parish Church on the 21st June 1650. A turbulent life of political intrigue was marked by a failed attempt to steal the Crown Jewels, when Thomas was imprisoned in the White Tower before trial. Surprisingly he was pardoned and eventually became a favourite of King Charles II, dying at his Westminster home in 1680.