Meeting could plan community buy-out of historic Machen pub
THE possibility of locals buying the historic Ffwrwm Ishta pub in Machen will be discussed at a meeting later this month.
Villagers will discuss options for its future- including the sale of community shares that could lead to a buyout from owner Enterprise Inns.
Many locals were saddened when the centuries-old building closed suddenly last month after it had seemingly been transformed by new leaseholder Niall Walshe.
The pub/restaurant had struggled in recent years, having a number of different managers, being closed for various periods and being subject to a failed planning application to turn it into a school.
But Mr Walshe had turned it around after taking it on in March, opening a new tea room, hosting a monthly rural market and regular events and planned to attract coach trips and anglers to the adjoining river banks.
However, he walked away suddenly last month, saying: "Business was going very well, but in my opinion the state of the building and the equipment meant that to continue was not a possibility."
Enterprise Inns did not comment on this, but said that the venue will open again soon with a new manager. However, the situation has upset locals, some dubbing the Ffwrwm Ishta "the heart of Machen".
Jan Walsh, founding member of community group Calon is rallying locals and helped organise the meeting. She said: "We need to look at how we can put pressure on Enterprise Inns, owners of the premises, to do something with it.
“We need to do something about the internal structure, which was the reason why the most recent leaseholder left. We will also look into whether there is enough interest to sell community shares."
It takes place in the village hall on August 14 at 7pm, with everyone welcome.