Villagers hope new owner can be found for much-loved pub
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Community leaders have spelled out their vision for the future of the Oyster Inn pub in Butley.
The Oyster Inn pub in Butley closed suddenly on May 12 after its owners revealed they had been approached by someone in the community who was interested in taking on the establishment.
The closure took place just two years after The Oyster re-opened following an extensive revamp.
Owner Judi Newman previously said: "The most important thing is that it's still in the heart of the village."
However, despite reassurances from the owners that the closure would be short, the pub remains shut.
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A meeting was held in Butley Village Hall at the end of May to discuss possible options for its future.
Although no firm plans were made at the meeting, the community has now outlined what it would like to see happen to the building.
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Parish council chairman David McGinity said they would struggle to take on the pub itself at this time.
Mr McGinity said: "The community of Butley and the surrounding parishes want the fantastic facilities at The Oyster to be utilised to the maximum for the benefit of the locals and whosoever owns it.
"The PC or the friends of The Oyster do not believe they have that expertise to achieve all those aims easily which is why we see the way forward is for an independent operation to come in to own and manage the pub."
Mr McGinity said that a community buy-out had been considered - but the price indication had proved too expensive for the community.
Residents had also considered applying for an asset of community value for The Oyster but were concerned at the amount of time it would take for the pub to re-open, he added.
Instead, Mr McGinity said it was important to find a new owner who could identify why the pub had struggled.
"The obvious answer is for an independent pub operator who knows what they are doing and can provide a solution to step in and buy the Oyster for a reasonable and relevant price quickly," said Mr McGinity.
"This would allow The Oyster to get back into commission and welcoming locals and visitors to this great facility."