Company set up to protect The Thorold Arms in Marston

The Thorold Arms in the centre of Marston. EMN-160322-170517001

The Thorold Arms in the centre of Marston. EMN-160322-170517001

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Villagers are setting up a limited company in order to purchase their much-loved pub and preserve it for future generations.

The Journal previously reported on how Marston residents are uniting to save The Thorold Arms, and now their campaign has taken a huge step forward with the establishment of a limited company.

“It is such an important building for the community,” said campaign organiser Ian Tyler. “Creating a limited company seemed like the best way to save it by raising the substantial amount of money we will need to buy it.”

By incorporating as the Thorold Arms Community Benefit Society, they will be able to raise money with a share offer, in line with the regulations of the financial conduct authority (FCA).

“The company is ultimately controlled by its shareholder members on the basis of one vote per member rather than the conventional one vote per share. In brief, the purpose of the company will be to buy the pub, renovate it, reopen it and then run the business at a profit and use the profits to benefit the local community,” explained Ian.

They have also received a £2,000 bursary as part of ongoing support from the Plunkett Foundation, whose expertise in establishing rural co-operatives is proving invaluable. Along with a £500 donation from Marston Parish Council, these funds have enabled them to hire a surveyor to carry out a condition check, and an architect to draw up a new layout for the pub and its accompanying shop.

Some residents from nearby Hougham are getting involved too, while businesses and former villagers are also encouraged to join. “It’s great to hear from people who used to live in Marston, and want to keep their connection to the village,” added Ian. For campaign updates, go to www.save.thethoroldarms.co.uk