West Dorset Villagers in Pub Takeover Plans
11:43am 18th February 2014
People living in a village near Bridport are trying to save their only pub from changing hands again.
The Bottle Inn in Marshwood has been listed as an asset of community value by West Dorset District Council who say the place has an important role in local life.
Registered assets give local residents the chance to put together a takeover bid before the pub goes on the market.
Nigel runs the Bottle Inn and says it has chequered past and has been opened and closed by different owners too many times in the past;
"A lot of pubs in the UK have been closing down over recent years and this one is worse than others. It was shut for 22 months, then open for 6 months and then closed for a year. Since we seem to be doing quite a good job at the pub at moment people would like us to stay and they would like to see the pub continuing to stay open."
Nigel told us why the Bottle Inn pub is so important to people living in Marshwood;
"We're the only pub in Marshwood now and if this goes it's a whole area without a place for people to come and have a drink, socialise, have a coffee or a tea, play cards or skittle. It really is a bone of the community. Last year when all the bad snow was here we had a load of tractors parked up in the car park because they had nothing else to do, they came in had a drink and a chat."
Nigel is confident he and his pub regulars have what it takes to take it over;
"We need a minimum of 21 people, at the moment I think they're over 60 people that have signed the list to protect the bottle and the owner has now agreed to sell it. It's guaranteed people want to take it over. Everyone wants it, we've had offers since day one of people saying we'll ''give you the money just buy the pub". This is good for the pub and great for village."
Broadwindsor Stores in the Marshwood Village has also been listed as an asset of community value.