Sunday, 22 September 2019

Brewery set to take over pub

A PUB in Benson is set to change hands.

The Crown Inn in High Street, which is currently owned by Greene King, is poised to be taken over by the Hook Norton Brewery, near Banbury.

The company has submitted plans for new signage which it says would encourage passers-by to call in.

The application says: “The design of the proposed signage was carefully considered and signwriting is sympathetic to the old inn and traditional in terms of the colours and typeface.”

Benson Parish Council was exploring the possibility of buying the pub, which had an asking price of £495,000 and is one of only two in the village.

The council had previously succeeded in having the pub listed as an asset of community value, meaning the community had six months to bid for the pub before it could be sold on the open market, although Greene King didn’t have to accept a bid.

Council chairman Bill Pattison suggested that the site could be used for car parking.

From 2013 to early 2016, the pub was run by Tim and Germaine Cullimore, who asked the parish council to consider the idea of it becoming community owned as they could no longer make a living from the business.

It was then taken over by Gary Flux, who runs the Shepherd’s Hut in Ewelme, but he left in September.

Since December, the Crown has been managed by Tim Harwood who said takings were increasing and the accommodation had been re-opened.

Hook Norton is one of 32 family breweries in the UK.

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