Pub, Post Office & Café in Bamford, Hope Valley

Developments at The Anglers Rest: Our Plan to Survive and Thrive

The background

In autumn 2023 the Anglers celebrated its 10th anniversary, a wonderful achievement for a community-owned pub, cafe and post-office.

However, it is no secret that the hospitality industry (where across England a quarter of all pubs have closed since 2022) is under ever greater threat and the Anglers Rest is, unfortunately, no different. We made substantial losses last year which meant that despite our success as a community hub, as a business, we faced possible closure.

Since January 2024 we have had cause for optimism with the arrival of a locally acclaimed chef, John Parsons, as head chef/general manager. Alongside John, we have Jo Doyle, a highly-respected ‘name’ in the craft and real ale beers world, as bar manager/deputy general manager. All our staff are enthusiastic about working in a community-owned free house, and our food and drink offer has already been transformed. But, in reality, if the Anglers Rest is to survive, we need to do more.

The plan:

Our plan is to ensure the sustainability of the Anglers by developing other income streams and to combine this with much needed maintenance work to ensure the viability of the building for the future.
Our aim is to develop the currently unused upper floors of the building, and the former sorting office, to generate the income necessary to recover and thrive by providing much needed accommodation for visitors to the Hope Valley and on-site accommodation for staff.

The project will provide:

  • A mix of different styles of flexible accommodation. This will enable us to benefit from the demand from visiting friends and family of Bamford residents as well as from outdoor enthusiasts for high quality reasonably priced cost accommodation in the Peak District with food and drink, creating year-round revenue
  • Two rental spaces (a studio and a 1 bedroom flat) generating revenue from short term rental or providing good quality living space for staff to increase our ability to attract and keep the talent we need to run our business 
  • A community room/function room providing appropriate space for further community activity, as well as providing the community with a bookable space for private family dining events. Thus creating another income stream 
  • A  laundry which can be used not only for Anglers’ business but which could function as a 21 st century style launderette, open to the community and to visitors to the area.                                                                      

The Funding:

We have already secured Lottery funding for Phase 1 of the development and we are currently preparing a full application to the Community Ownership Fund (COF) for a £250,000 capital grant. 

Our initial Expression of Interest has already been approved.

 

10 year anniversary

Derbyshire's first community pub

In 2013, the Anglers Rest made history as Derbyshire’s first community pub, thanks to the formation of the Bamford Community Society. The society rescued the premises from property developers, registered it as an Asset of Community Value, and transformed it into a vital village hub with a pub, Post Office, and cafe.

10 years on

We’ve survived so far. 10 years which is quite an achievement for a community-owned pub, cafe and Post Office, particularly given the challenges of recent years. Yet here we are in 2024 and the Anglers Rest continues to provide a space where people can meet up and a home for more than a dozen local groups, and popular activities from Meet the Artist to Vinyl Night, from Quiz Night to Folk Night.

A challenging environment in 2023

The last year has proved to be something of a nightmare. Like all those involved in the hospitality business (where, in 2023, on average 50 businesses closed each month)  we’ve been hit by the perfect storm of spiralling energy bills, escalating prices and salaries, and a customer base badly impacted by the cost of living crisis, as well as some changes in behaviour post-Covid.

 

All of this has been exacerbated by the demands of ongoing structural repairs, the loss of income resulting from the closure of the Royal Mail sorting office, and the need to financially support our community Post Office which has always depended on a subsidy from the rest of the business. We have also been negatively impacted by major staffing issues.

 

All this has resulted in us struggling as we went into 2024

Great news!

However, it appears that fate is on our side in the shape of our new management team- the locally acclaimed chef John Parsons as head chef/general manager, and Jo Doyle, a very experienced pub manager who is well respected in Sheffield as a ‘name’ in the craft and real ale beers world, who will be bar manager/deputy manager.  Both John and Jo come to us enthusiastic about working in a community-owned free house and confident about walking the fine line between turning the Anglers Rest into a ‘destination‘ (which it was in the ‘old days’ and which it needs to be in order to survive) while retaining our community feel, and attracting back our Bamford Community Society members and other local customers by functioning as a good local pub and cafe consistently serving excellent food and drinks.

The arrival of John and Jo at the beginning of January 2024 presents us with a unique opportunity. With their expertise, we are going to relaunch our food and drink offer. At the same time we intend to begin a major refurbishment programme aimed at generating a significant new income stream through providing overnight accommodation in our currently unused upstairs rooms.  We also plan to undertake crucial restoration work in the upstairs and back areas, creating a function room, and much needed staff facilities.  And, of course,  we need to undertake some essential maintenance work, refurbish our existing downstairs and kitchen areas, and upgrade our toilet facilities.

Overall, we estimate that these works will cost £250,000. Some of the necessary finance will require grant funding which we are currently applying for, and which we are hopeful we will succeed in obtaining. However, our position in this regard will be strengthened immeasurably if we can also raise funds via private donations and other more conventional fund-raising activity. Moreover, some of the work is urgent and falls outside the timescales required for grant funding application processes.

We need your support!

The existing Anglers appeal

To ensure the long-term sustainability of our Post Office, pub, and cafe, and give the new management team the best chance of succeeding, we launched the ‘Restore the Anglers Appeal’.  Could you help?? Every penny counts!

Our aim is to raise £50,000

We need funds because, for example, we need to…

  • replace kitchen equipment much of which is well past its ‘sell by’ date;
  • refurbish the pub, particularly the tables and chairs, many of which are on their last legs (literally!) despite the sterling efforts of our DIY team;
  • refurbish the back area to provide proper changing facilities for kitchen staff;
  • improve the layout of the Post Office/cafe serving area/’shop’ area and carry out some urgent plumbing and structural works
  • contribute to core costs to support us from January-March (not a particularly glamorous cause, but a really important one!)

Ways to donate towards the Anglers Rest:

Make a cheque payable to the Bamford Community Society, put it in an envelope labelled SUPPORT and hand it to the Anglers Post Office.

A cash or card donation can be made at the till.
Please tell a colleague this is cash support for the BCS.

Our preferred option (no fees!) is a bank transfer…
Transfers can be made to:

The Bamford Community Society at The Co-Operative Bank, PO Box 250, Skelmersdale WN8 6WT.

Please use sort code 08-92-99 and account number 65614965

Quote the reference SUPPORT.

…OR YOU CAN DONATE THROUGH PAYPAL. 

CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW!

Support the ‘Restore the Anglers Appeal’ and help secure the future of the Anglers Rest