On Saturday 4th May Ulrika Jonsson cut the ribbon to officially open The Crown Pub & Café in South Moreton, Oxfordshire. A proud moment for the villagers, this was the culmination of three years’ hard work to rescue their local pub and prevent it from being demolished to make way for new houses.
Using an Asset of Community Value Order to stop developers from moving in, South Moreton residents spent six months raising the funds to buy the pub. The 110 households are now in the almost unique position of all being shareholders in their local watering hole.
Figures vary from year to year but, on average, around 1,000 pubs a year close down. Bucking the trend are places like The Crown. Of the 141 community owned pubs across the country, none has failed to date.
Leading the “Save our Pub” campaign was South Moreton resident, Paul Jackson. Paul runs his own disaster recovery specialist business, First Recovery and so has some dealings with the insurance industry. “I was tasked with organising the insurance for the refurbishment project and a business associate recommended that I speak to Anthony Jones. The villagers were depending on me to get it right and I felt that weight of responsibility on me. I needn’t have worried. The service I received from the Anthony Jones team was quick and professional. They were always available to provide advice and support. It was reassuring to have an expert on call. I really felt they went above and beyond and will definitely be using them for all my business and personal insurance needs going forward.”