Mon, 03 Sept 2018
THE team behind The Tally Ho in Hungerford Newtown is looking for tenants to run it.
The community pub is a thriving success story and a source of much local pride – and now it’s time for a change.
Tally Ho Community Pub Ltd director Monty Smith said this week that the search is on for the right couple to take over the day-to-day running of the business.
The venture is a beacon for other communities hoping to save their local from developers, and many have sought advice.
Hungerford Newtown residents were dismayed when, in 2012, the ‘Tally’ was sold by brewing giant Wadworth.
The buyer, Acres Developments, sought planning permission to convert it into a terrace of three three-bedroom homes.
However, planning permission was refused.
A convoluted battle followed, but villagers, backed by the West Berkshire branch of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and Newbury MP Richard Benyon, prevailed, eventually buying the building back.
It is now owned by a consortium of villagers and other investors and run as community asset, offering good food, bed and breakfast and real ales.
Mr Smith said: “It was never our intention to run it ourselves, hands on.
“We’re now looking to move things on to the next stage and keep pushing the business forward.
“We want to keep the property, but sell the tenancy.
“But it’s vital that we maintain the same standards.”
The directors have advertised the tenancy within the industry and have already interviewed several hopeful candidates.
But Mr Smith said: “It could be that someone local would fit the bill.
“So if you’ve ever thought of running your own pub, we’ve got a successful business right here.
“Ideally we’re looking for a couple with some experience.
“We’re in no particular hurry – it’s more about getting it right.”
Mr Smith said that other communities seeking to buy their village pub to save it from developers still contact The Tally Ho team for advice and added: “As far as we’re concerned, this has been a fantastic success story.”
In 2014, The Tally Ho won West Berkshire CAMRA’s award for Best Community Pub.
The annual award was introduced to celebrate the contribution that local pubs make to their community.
The chairman of West Berkshire CAMRA at the time, Richard Scullion, said: “One of CAMRA’s key campaigns is to support well-run pubs as the centre of community life.
“Their continued existence plays a critical social role in UK culture, and they are great places in which to consume real ale.
“Seeing the community rally to keep its pub in this way is an example to us all.”
Anyone interested in taking on the tenancy of The Tally Ho should ring the pub on (01488) 682312 to make an appointment for a chat.