By now you may be aware of the fact the current owners of the Black Bull pub have decided to either sell the property or look to convert it into residential accommodation. This has led to the Parish Council "triggering" a moratorium period which means nothing can be done, in terms of a sale or making an application for a change of use, until 9 June 2014. This is a period of time designed to enable community groups to put together realistic bids to acquire the building so that it can be preserved as a community asset.
The recent Parish Council meeting which led to the decision to invoke the moratorium period was well attended by village residents. There appeared to be a clear feeling that action should be taken to preserve the pub either in its current form or in some other guise for the benefit of us all. The Parish Council made it clear that they would not want to put the bid together but that other village associations could work with them. To this end, Rimington Recreation Association has agreed to investigate the matter further and see if there really is a desire to do something. The Recreation Association has agreed to call its own open meeting at the Memorial Institute at 8pm on Wednesday, 5 February 2014.
If you are interested in helping support a community based project to secure the future of the Black Bull, in whatever guise that may be, then I would urge you to attend the meeting. We are looking for people who would be prepared to contribute ideas, help with fundraising, provide skills and assistance or even work in the building once it is up and running. More than anything we need people who might be prepared to donate money or act as benefactors.
A number of ideas have already been suggested as to what might be done with the property including keeping it as a pub or just taking half of it for such a purpose. Suggestions have been put forward for turning part of the building into a shop or a community facility such as a gymnasium. The whole project could be run as a community cooperative or as a discrete charitable institution. We could look to buy the pub outright or we could just acquire half, or even lease the premises. What is clear is that a number of grants could be available to help us.
What we need to do now is identify the desires of residents and the skills within the village which can help us achieve these objectives. If you are prepared to help, whether by contributing ideas, time or money then please do come to the public meeting. This could well be our last chance to save the facility.
If you can’t come to the meeting but do want to be involved, please feel free to email me at . Once again, the meeting will be at the Memorial Institute at 8pm on Wednesday, 5 February 2014.
On a separate note, the Recreation Association is still continuing with its fund raising activities with a view to improving the sports pavilion and play area at the recreation ground. With this in mind we have put together a programme of events for the coming year and details of some of these are contained overleaf. Please place the dates in your diary – your support is much appreciated! Further details of each event will be released a little closer to the days in question.