Run down pub, the Skylark in Talke Pits could soon be reopened as a family venue. Simon Richards of G3 Leisure who also lives in the area, held a public meeting on Friday 7th February to discuss his proposals with the local community.
Mr Richards explained at the meeting that his company was looking to spend a significant sum on the site to bring it up to a better standard and attract more families. A Skylark revival page on Facebook now has over 350 followers with numbers growing by the day.
Mr Richards said: “Having been in the trade for many years, we have seen many things. The most upsetting is to see estate pubs close. Sometimes it’s not even the fault of the pub or lack of community support. Many times it’s the greed of the breweries that force a pub into closure. As with all business, every party involved has to make a living, but some forget this.
“The Skylark has been the heart of Talke Pits for as long as some can remember and during that time the pub has had its ups and downs. As a local company we saw the closure of the pub, but due to financial interests we were unable to purchase the site. Living in Talke Pits, we have seen the rapid decline in the pub and its grounds. After much thought and research, we decided to really see if the community had lost heart in this once fantastic pub. So we launched the skylark revival page. After receiving phenomenal support from the local community, we decided to look into costs required to reopen the pub, bringing it back as the heart of the village. I realised that the local community was lacking in a good wholesome family orientated food pub that offers great value for money. We are also looking at installing a children’s play area and to provide entertainment.
“Given the amount of capital needed for the project, we wondered if our purchase would be a wise bet and decided to let the villagers and the local community have a say in this project. We have also offered shares in our company to allow us to borrow less and minimise risk of failure. Locals that buy shares will be buying a security in the pub and its land, in addition receive a dividend payment on their investment and receive a discount card. This will give investors the chance to save the amount they invested over their visits to the pub.
“With community support, we can purchase, fully refurbish both internal and external areas of the site, and re-open as a great family pub with entertainment, which the community has shown it wants. This move will not only secure the future of the Skylark, but will improve the overall look of the entrance to our village. Our project will increase the kerb appeal of the site, improve its security and above all secure its future.”
Talke Pits Councillor, David Allport attended the public meeting: “I have a big concern with the amount of Anti-Social behaviour around the site at the moment. This is something we expect with boarded up buildings but I do think the Police need to do more. It was pleasing to see someone so passionate about the pub revival and if G3 Leisure take on the site, I want to see it cleaned up as a matter of urgency”.
Kyle says: “From a Town Council point of view, if the Skylark revival is a success, I am keen to work with the owners to put on more community events for Talke Pits. This area seems to be left out far too often and that must change. I am also looking into a community asset register to protect the rest of our pubs in the community”.
If you are interested in the project, you can check out the Skylark Revival Facebook Page and company website: www.g3leisure.com