The Marquis Cornwallis, in Chedburgh, near Bury St Edmunds, shut its doors in October 2016. In November 2016, following an application by the Parish Council, the pub and associated green land across the road were listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), under the Localism Act 2011, by St Edmundsbury Borough Council (now West Suffolk).
The following year, in November 2017, the owner of the pub, Kenya Trading Ltd, put it on the market. This triggered a moratorium period, provided for by the ACV, during which time the owner could only sell to a community group, although they were not obliged to sell if they did not wish to. The Parish Council advised the local people of this situation and a Steering Group of local volunteers was formed, who met for the first time in January 2018.
The Steering Group conducted a survey of 100 households in Chedburgh and held a public meeting to gauge local support for attempting to save the pub. The reaction was very positive, and so the group began the task of preparing a bid for the Marquis. In order to do this, we have formed a Community Benefit Society, called Chedburgh Marquis Community Hub Ltd. We have researched various ways of running community pubs and prepared a business plan, detailing how we propose to achieve our goals. We intend to turn The Marquis into a successful community pub, with a café and ultimately a small shop. Our vision is of a hub for our community, where groups can meet, good food and beer can be served, and friends and neighbours can be found.
We launched our Community Share Issue in the Autumn of 2018 and made a solid start with fundraising, generating £24,400 so far. We have recently been awarded a grant from Social Investment Business through their Reach Fund, to be spent on obtaining professional costings for the proposed refurbishment, which we hope will assist us in approaches to other potential funders.
Save the Marquis film made by PunchFilmsUK
Towards the end of 2018, we made a little film about our campaign with Punch FilmsUK. Another community pub, The Fox Inn, Garboldisham, allowed us to use their beautiful pub's front room as a backdrop for the interviews.
We want the Marquis to be more than merely a pub: we would make it a village hub, with a coffee shop open during the day, a small shop for essentials, and lots of scope for useful services, such as a defibrillator, a courier drop off point, mobile post office, pop up cinema and more.
We intend to raise the money to buy, refurbish and reopen the Marquis Cornwallis pub for the community.
When the pub was cleared out, a boxful of trophies from the old Marquis trophy cabinet was taken to the Erskine Centre. We are looking after them until the day that they can resume their rightful place in the pub!
RAF Chedburgh photos
Another box, this one filled with the RAF Chedburgh photos from the walls of the Marquis, were taken in by Little Teapots Preschool, to save them from the skip! The Community Council (CCDRCC) are looking after them until they can once more be displayed.
Chedburgh Fete 2019
On 22nd June, the sun shone, the bunting was flying and all of Chedburgh turned out for the "Swinging 60's" Summer fete! A great day, a wonderful celebration of village life and CMCH were proud to be a part of it.