Statement by Tollerton Parish Council regarding the future of the Air Hostess at Tollerton – an asset of Community Value.
The Air Hostess at Tollerton is our village pub and an important part of our community. The Parish Council registered the Air Hostess as an Asset of Community Value in 2017 because it is more than just a pub. The Air Hostess is a hub where the community comes together for regular weekly and one off special events.
It is home to the petanque club, a clubhouse to the football club and a theatre to local traddition – the plough play. Tollerton residents told us that it was important to them through consultations about our Parish Plan and our Neighbourhood Plan and so we sought to protect it for the future as an asset of community value.
An Asset of Community Value
Being an Asset of Community Value is a special legal status. It means that it can not just be sold immediately and provides a unique opportunity for the community to work with the owners to determine the future of the asset.
The owners of the Air Hostess – Everards a local family run brewery – have given notice that they wish to trigger this process which could lead to the sale of the pub and have provided some information to share with residents.
Statement from Everards of Leicestershire
All Everards pubs are run as independent tenanted businesses. For some time the Air Hostess has been a challenging pub to operate and it has struggled to be viable for an independent business owner due to its size, the cost of operating the business in terms of staffing, utilities etc. and with changing social habits and the economic climate also contributing to the pub’s decline. Therefore we have decided to explore options for its future.
Everards is passionate about and committed to pubs, investing in and supporting business owners to run successful, individual and profitable pubs throughout the East Midlands. Since 2007, when lots of pubs have been closing we have been acquiring pubs, many of which were either closed or viewed as unsustainable. There are instances however when the location, competition or sheer size of the pub does not make it sustainable for the future and in these cases we seek alternative uses for the building.
Any decision we may take in the future would result in reinvestment back into developing sustainable pubs for the long term.
We have had a constructive initial conversation with the owners of the Air Hostess and have invited them to work with us to understand why they wish to dispose of the Air Hostess and to explore the options to secure the future of the pub for the village.
A Community Pub?
One of the options could be for the village to take on the Air Hostess as a Community Pub and we would welcome views from residents about this. There are an increasing number of community pubs across the country and several different ways to set up a community pub.
There will be a Community Meeting on Wednesday 15 May – the Annual Parish Meeting – where residents can find out more about what might be involved and how they might be able to help in setting up a community pub.
We will also publish further information as it becomes available to keep residents informed.