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Raven Mad – pub co-op owes its birth to TV 8 October 2009

Posted by cooperatoby in beer, cooperative.
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Amazing to see the media industry creating the “reality” it is more conventionally supposed to report on – but this time with a result we can approve of. In February this year, production company TwoFour announced that it would like to film a series about a community saving its own pub. “Twofour will work with the current owners to encourage the local community to muck in and run the pub for one month, with support from our expert landlord and presenter, Jay Smith, who owns a number of successful bars in the north of England. Everyone involved will be trained in all the necessary skills to run their pub,” it said.

And hey presto by September, the inhabitants of Llanarmon-yn-Ial, near Mold, Denbighshire, had bought the Raven and formed a co-operative guarantee company – Raven Mad – to run it.

A TwoFour spokesman quoted in the pub trade newspaper The Morning Advertiser, said: “With so many rural pubs closing around the country, Twofour is delighted to have the opportunity to help save some of them. The precedent of community run pubs has proved successful, and hopefully this show will encourage more to go down this route. We wish The Raven every success.”

After standing empty for three months, the historic pub was auctioned in July, but no one would bid the £250,000 guide price. However Raven Mad has now secured a six-year lease. The pub reopened on 30th August.

Co-operative spokesman Doug Macpherson recognised the encouragement the TV company had given: “The village is one of few remaining with a shop, post office, school and pub. Villagers were very saddened to see the pub close but, like many other communities, felt powerless to do anything about it. The offer from the television company has enabled the community to come together with the support of an experienced mentor to re-open the pub.”

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